In December 2015, Lebanon freed 11 hardline militants for exchange of 16 Lebanese hostages held by al-Nusra in Qatar-brokered swap
Turkish authorities have reportedly released up to 150 ISIS detainees in a concealed prisoner exchange with the group, according to media reports.
In compliance with the Qatari-brokered deal, Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has transported the prisoners into ISIS-controlled territories inside Syria through Rai border crossing near the northern city of Aleppo.
A second batch of 62 notorious jihadis, including senior field commanders, is scheduled to be released next week.
In mid-February, up to 28 Turkish soldiers were killed as a suicide attack targeted their convoy. Although Turkish authorities have immediately pointed fingers at its bitter enemy, the Kurds, later investigations found ISIS sleeper cells responsible for the deadly blast.
The investigations also highlighted further plans by the terror group to carry out similar attacks in key Turkish cities of Istanbul, İzmir and Antalya.
According to the purported agreement, ISIS pledges to not attack Turkish cities any more. In return, Ankara vowed to release more ISIS members and facilitate their access into the war-torn Syria.
Turkish political experts believe increasing public pressure after the bloody terrorist attacks has forced the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to comprise and initiate clandestine negotiations with the world-terror organization.