Tue 07 Apr 2020

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Details of prisoners’ exchange at Abu Zandan crossing point by SNA leader 

A leader at "Mutasim" division of the "Syrian National Army" (SNA), Al-Faruq Abu Bakr with a former detainee of the regime -16 March 2020 (al-Faruq Abu Bakr Twitter account)

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A leader in the Syrian National Army (SNA) clarified details of prisoners’ exchange, which take place between the opposition factions and the Syrian regime at Abu Zandan crossing point in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.

Several prisoner exchanges occurred at the crossing, the most recent of which was on Monday, 17 March. They led to the release of a detainee called Wassim Muhammad from Saraqib city, after two years of his arrest in the regime’s prisons, in exchange for an officer in the regime forces.

The leader at Mutasim division affiliated to the SNA, Farouq Abu Bakr, twitted on his account, Tuesday, 17 March, saying that choosing detainees to be exchanged with members of the regime forces is based on a request of those who communicate with him and ask for help.  

He added that many female detainees have been released from the regime’s detention centers, offering his services to all Syrian opposition factions to help those in captivation.

Enab Baladi correspondent reported news of receiving large sums of money amounting to about 10,000 US dollars from the detainees’ families for these exchange operations to be conducted with officers and members from the regime forces.

Despite this, Abu Bakr asserted he does not take any payments in exchange for what he does, promising that he will help liberating several female detainees in the next few days. 

The armed opposition factions conducted several exchange operations with the regime forces and its affiliated militias. The National Liberation Front (NLF) handed over the corpse of an Iranian militia fighter, in exchange for the release of two fighters captured last February by the regime forces and its affiliated militias during recent battles in the southern countryside of Aleppo.  

There was also an exchange process at the Abu Zandan crossing point; this time between the SNA and the regime forces, which took place in July 2019 and under which 14 regime detainees were released in exchange for 15 ones captured by SNA.

The July operation was preceded by another one in February 2019, when 20 detainees were released in exchange for receiving prisoners from opposition factions that took place in the al-Bab city in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.

The deal was under Turkish-Russian sponsorship, and there were ten women among the liberated, including five from Homs and two with their children.

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