On June 29, a prisoner exchange between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took place near the al-Salihiyah river crossing east of the city of Deir Ezzor, according to the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Zaman al-Wsl.
Taj al-Alaw, a Syrian pro-opposition activist, told Zaman al-Wsl that the SDF had released two soldiers of the SAA in exchange for three of its fighters who had been captured by the SAA during the recent battles between the two sides on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
According to local sources, the prisoner exchange deal was reached thanks to a Russian mediation. Furthermore, units of the Russian Military Police were present in the al-Salihiyah river crossing and supervised the execution of the deal.
This prisoners exchange deal hints a great improvement in the relationship between the SDF and the Damascus on one side, and between the SDF and Russia on the other. Earlier this year, the Kurdish-dominated group and its backers made several aggressive moves against Russia and Damascus.
The upcoming months may witness further improvement in the relationship between the SDF and the Damascus government. Recently, both sides expressed their willingness to engage in direct negotiations inside the country.