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Hostages Held 17 Months as Regime Turns Blind Eye

Failed prisoner exchange sees 54 civilians from Lattakia held hostage for 17 months, new video shows
Hostages Held 17 Months as Regime Turns Blind Eye

Rebels held 54 hostages, including women and children, in Lattakia countryside for over 17 months, according to an exclusive video obtained by Zaman al-Wasl.


The hostages accused the Assad regime of ignoring their fate as rebels sought a prisoner exchange.


The video, believed to be recorded on December 16, 2014, shows 54 people, mostly women and children from families of fighters loyal to the Assad regime, in Lattakia countryside.


In early August 2013, rebels stormed predominantly Alawite villages in the mountain countryside of Bashar al-Assad’s hometown, Lattakia, arresting 94 people.


Following the incident, rebels have routinely demanded the regime conduct a prisoner exchange for the release the hostages. But the demands have consistently been faced with indifference and apathy from the Assad regime, according to Fida’a Majthoob, the rebels’ representative for exchange negotiations.


In May 2014, 40 hostages were released in a swap when the Assad regime agreed to break a siege on 2,000 people in Homs’ old city.

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