2018-11-26 Syria-Lebanon-Iran||Syria regime and rebels swap prisoners, Turkey says
[Rudaw] The Syrian government and rebels swapped prisoners Saturday in a "first important step" in building trust between the warring sides under a Russia-Iran-|The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
-brokered grinding of the peace processor, Turkey's foreign ministry said Saturday.
"Certain individuals" were exchanged simultaneously in northwest of Syria, near the town of al-Bab close to Aleppo, the ministry said, calling it a "pilot project".
While it did not give a precise figure of detainees involved, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on sources in Syria, said 10 prisoners from each side were exchanged.
Russia, Iran and Turkey are working to bring about peace in Syria under what is known as the Astana process.
Each country plays a key role in the conflict that started in March 2011. Russia and Iran have intervened on the side of Syria's government, ensuring its survival, while Turkey supports rebel groups in northern Syria to prevent Syrian Kurds establishing and expanding territory along its border.
All of them say they are fighting Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling
Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not
fighters and other jihadists in the northern regions.
Turkey of late has become quieter about its initial stated aim of seeing Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir
Horror of Homs...
leaving power as it has stepped up cooperation with Russia over Syria.
In September, Turkey and Russia agreed to set up the buffer zone to avert a Syrian regime offensive, but jihadists who hold around 70 percent of the area have refused to withdraw.
The Astana process has gradually come to eclipse a UN-sponsored negotiations framework known as the Geneva process whose participants include the United States and European powers that would be key donors in an international post-conflict reconstruction programme for Syria.
Obstacles to securing Western reconstruction aid include an insistence by the US and EU on a transition that would see Assad go, as well as the presence of Iranian and Iranian-commanded fighters in Syria.
|Posted by trailing wife 2018-11-26 00:00||
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