The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Islamist rebels of Jaysh Al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) agreed to a prisoner exchange in which 11 kidnapped women from the city of Jisr Al-Shughour would be exchanged for 9 militants captured by the National Defense Forces (NDF) during their infiltration attempt into Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya.
According to a source from the Syrian Information Ministry, the Islamist rebels agreed to release these 11 women on Monday morning after an intense negotiation session with the Syrian Arab Army’s senior officers in northern Hama town of Qala’t Al-Madeeq.
The source added that these women had been kidnapped by the Islamist rebels of Jaysh Al-Fateh during their capture of Jisr Al-Shughour in late May of 2015; these women were the only civilians the aforementioned Islamist group agreed to release to the government forces.
Jaysh Al-Fateh was elated upon the release of their 9 militants from the predominately Shi’i towns of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya near the provincial capital of the Idlib Governorate.
All of the released militants appeared in good health before they were subsequently released by the National Defense Forces.
In addition to the release of the 9 militants, the National Defense Forces also delivered the corpse of a dead Jabhat Al-Nusra fighter that was killed over the summer in the Al-Fou’aa outskirts.
Video footage of the prisoner swap was released by the Syrian Government: