DEBKAfile Special Report January 9, 2013
The three-way prisoner exchange of thousands of Syrian, Turkish and Iranian prisoners Wednesday, Jan. 9, was the first deal between Bashar Assad and the rebels. This turning-point in the 22-month Syrian conflict was made possible by the Syrian ruler’s confidence in his survival and the rebels’ realization that it was their only chance to save some of their war gains. The POW swap may lead to a lull in the fighting as both sides build up their resources – either to win the war or improve their future bargaining position.
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