One prisoner of Hezbollah to be exchanged for each group that leaves for Syria

A Hezbollah fighter stands in front of anti-tank artillery at Juroud Arsal, the Syria-Lebanon border, July 29, 2017.


:: The second stage of the prisoners swap between Hezbollah militia and al-Nusra Front fighters began Monday morning.

In this context, buses carrying the militants of al-Nusra front and their families from Flitah arrived at Jarud Arsal, according to the Hezbollah militia.

Lebanese media sources expected this stage to be long, considering that 9,000 people registered to leave for Qalamoun towards Idlib.

According to sources, every Hezbollah prisoner released will be exchanged with every group that reaches Syria.

Under a local ceasefire between the Lebanese Shi’ite group and the Sunni militants, about 9,000 fighters and their relatives would leave for rebel territory in Syria on Monday, a Hezbollah media unit had said.

The Nusra Front was al-Qaeda’s Syria branch until it severed ties and rebranded last year. It now spearheads the Tahrir al-Sham Islamist alliance in the Syrian war.

The deal includes the departure of all Nusra militants from Lebanon’s northeast border region around Arsal town, along with any civilians in nearby refugee camps who wish to leave.

Hezbollah took most of the barren, mountainous zone of Jroud Arsal last week, after launching an offensive with the Syrian army to drive militants from their last foothold along the border.

The next phase is expected to target a nearby enclave in the hands of Islamic State.

The first stage of the ceasefire, brokered by Lebanon’s internal security agency, took effect on Sunday as the two sides exchanged the bodies of fighters killed in clashes between them.













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