On April 25, a prisoner exchange between the Lebanese Hezbollah and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) took place in at a crossing near the town of in al-Eis in the western Aleppo countryside, according to the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a. The Al-Eis crossing is known to be under the control of Hezbollah and Iranian-backed forces.
Syrian opposition sources revealed that Hezbollah had released three fighters of HTS in exchange for two of its fighters who had been captured by HTS during the previous battles. The prisoners exchange deal didn’t include any captive from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), according to the sources.
Syrian pro-government sources believe that Iran and Qatar played a key role in the prisoners exchange deal. Last year the two countries reached an agreement that allowed an evacuation of thousands of civilians from the towns of al-Zabadani and Madaya, north of Damascus, and al-Fu’ah and Kafriya in the western Idlib countryside.
According to local observers, a new Iranian-Qatari deal, backed by Turkey and Russia, that will allow the remaining civilians and fighters in the besieged towns of al- Fu’ah and Kafriya to withdraw to the government-held areas, may be reached next months.