The evacuation deal between Assad and Ahrar Al Sham, being led by Al Farooq Al Ahrar, included the release of 177 fighters from Assad’s forces, who were captured by Ahrar Al Sham, in exchange for an Islamic leader Hassan Soufan, who was sentenced to life in the Saydaniya prison, in addition to an unidentified woman.
According to sources for Aleppo24, the prison swap deal between the Ahrar Al Sham and Assad regime took place under the supervision of the SARC. As a part of the deal, 13 regime fighters were released, including commanders and soldiers, in addition to a woman along with her child, who was kidnapped in the Ladiqiya countryside in August 2013 by some Islamic groups. 14 women and children were released in previous deals between both parties.
Pro-Assad social media pages posted videos showing what they described, freeing of the prisoners. On the other hand, this deal sparked an outrage as activists condemned the Ahrar Al Sham for using negotiation to attain personal interest only by the release of a salafi jihadi extremist from the Saydaniya prison and overlooking the fate of 1000s of detainees from Aleppo and other parts of Syria.
According to sources, Hassan Sawfan was arrested 12 years ago in Saudi Arabia and then was handed back to the regime and then was sentenced to life and thrown into the notorious Saydaniya prison. Sawfan is known for holding strikes inside the prison and having close ties with the top leaders of the Ahrar Al Sham Movement, who were released in 2011 from the same prison and killed in a mysterious explosion in 2014.