Syrian authorities have released
10 women jailed for helping the opposition, the first batch of
126 women expected to be freed in the final stages of a
three-way hostage swap, activists said on Wednesday,
The women's release was the main demand of kidnappers in
northern Syria who had held nine Lebanese men hostage for 17
months. Those hostages and two Turkish pilots abducted in
Lebanon were freed last week under a deal negotiated by Qatar.
"They (the 10 women) were released overnight. We do not know
if more will be released today or later, or if that is it. We
are waiting," said a Syrian human rights activist.
Syria has made no official comment about the release, nor
has it acknowledged having any role in a hostage exchange deal.