Syria rebels release 48 Iranians in prisoner swap: reports
Syrians rush to the location of a building targeted by a missile in the al-Mashhad neighbourhood in the city of Aleppo on January 7, 2013. (AFP Photo)
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A Syrian opposition group has released 48 Iranians as part of a prisoner swap deal with Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Iran’s Press TV reported on Wednesday.
The Syrian government is expected to release 2,130 civilian prisoners as part of the exchange, which was brokered by Turkey and Qatar.
"Most of the prisoners to be swapped are Syrian citizens in exchange for Iranians, and there are a few Turks as well," IHH board member Osman Atalay told Reuters.
Turkish citizens are believed to be among the prisoners to be released.
Iran claimed the 48 prisoners were on a pilgrimage to a Shia holy site in southeast Damascus, while Syrian rebels said they were members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.