As if we needed more proof: The Syrian government will free 2,130 prisoners in exchange for 48 Iranians.
It may well be that the 2,130 prisoners languishing in Syrian jails are all innocent civilians unassociated with the jihadist-dominated rebels. Syria has always been that kind of place, since long before the rebellions started; to get thrown into a dungeon or torture chamber, the corrupt regime could finger you on just about any pretext. Assad has always ruled through fear.
That said, there may be another straightforward reason Assad can't get Syrian soldiers back in this exchange: the rebels execute their prisoners. The only reason the Iranians are still breathing is the rebels probably figured they'd be worth something in a hostage swap.
That said, the 48 Iranians are almost certainly members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Even the most devout pilgrim knows to stay away from active warzones -- the Tehran regime's story doesn't hold water.More >>