Iranian prisoners
Photo: EPA
Syrian rebels swap 48 Iranians for prisoners
Rebels free Iranians captured in Damascus last August in exchange for prisoners held by Syrian security services,

Syrian rebel groups have freed 48 Iranians captured over recent months in the country in exchange for prisoners held by Syrian security services, Iran's state-run Press TV said on Wednesday.


The report did not give details but Iran's state-controlled Arabic language television station al-Alam said its correspondent had confirmed the release of the Iranians.


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Earlier on Wednesday Turkey's IHH organization said the Syrian government was to free 2,130 civilian prisoners in exchange for the Iranians.


החטופים האיראנים בסרטון שפורסם באוגוסט (צילום: EPA)

Iranian prisoners in video released in August (Photo: EPA)


IHH board member Osman Atalay told Reuters most of the prisoners were Syrian but they also included some Turkish nationals and "citizens of other countries". There was no confirmation from the Syrian government.


Iran's Fars news agency reported that the deal was brokered with the assistance of Qatar and Turkey.


The Iranians were captured in Damascus in August by rebel groups who alleged they were members of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Tehran denied this, saying they were Shiite Muslim pilgrims visiting a shrine in Syria.




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