Iranians freed in major prisoner swap in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria – Rebels freed 48 Iranians on Wednesday in exchange for more than 2,000 prisoners, including women and children, held by Syrian authorities – a deal struck after rare negotiations involving regional powers Turkey, Qatar and Iran.
It was the first major prisoner swap since the uprising began against President Bashar Assad nearly 22 months ago.
Iran is one of Assad's main allies, and the Iranians, who were seized outside Damascus in August, were a major bargaining chip for factions trying to bring down his regime in the civil war that has killed more than 60,000 people.
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