Yesterday, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad met with women and children who were held in captivity by Islamist rebels for more than three years; these civilians were kidnapped by the insurgent groups in 2013, when the last ones attempted to capture several towns in the northern countryside of the Latakia governorate.
The prisoner swap between the Syrian authorities and Islamist rebels was concluded yesterday, with each side pledging to release 54 women detainees.
Thus, the insurgents will set free 54 women who were kidnapped from northern Latakia countryside in 2013, in exchange for the same number of women imprisoned by Syrian authorities.
On August 2013, a coalition of Islamist rebels – which at the time included the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) and the “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham” (ISIS) – launched a powerful assault to conquer the city of Al-Haffah in Northern Latakia.
Although the assault was successfully repelled by government forces, the rebels brutally massacred and kidnapped hundreds of civilians from Alawite-inhabited villages before leaving the area.