Iran and Syria sponsored the Hezbollah-ISIS prisoner swap

The swap seeks to benefit Iran's and Syria's power in the conflict and the region.

September 3, 2017 16:50
1 minute read.
Iranian soldiers on Israel's border

Picture from IRGC affiliated account of Iranian soldiers on Israel's border. (photo credit: TWITTER)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The prisoner swap between Hezbollah and ISIS on August 28 that saw the release of over 300 ISIS militants and 8 Hezbollah militants and one Iranian was reportedly sponsored by Iran and Syria.

The official deal was halted by an American air strike destroying the roads connecting the bus of ISIS militants to an ISIS controlled territory in Syria.

The local super powers and enemies of ISIS, Iran and Syria, sponsored the negotiations and prisoner swap. Columnist Raghida Dergham of the Huffington Post claimed that the release of hundreds of ISIS militants benefits the local super-powers both diplomatically and economically.

Iran has been trying to strengthen its presence in Lebanon and Iraq, having already secured a strong base in Syria. As part of the Hezbollah-ISIS deal, ISIS surrendered to Hezbollah, but not the Lebanese army. The Lebanese army cannot take credit for bringing stability to their state, which weakens their appearance to the public.

The militants released were on route to the Syrian-Iraqi border. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi criticized the deal but his predecessor and Iranian supporter, Nouri al-Maliki supported the deal. This move symbolizes an attempt by Maliki to weaken the government.

The current regime of Iran has an interest in the creation and maintenance of a 'Shi'ite Crescent' which would create a geographical strip of countries from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean of Iranian-supported Shi'ite states. This would link Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran, though the project that aims to do so was halted during the emergence of ISIS. However, ISIS has given the Syrian and Iranian regimes an excuse to conduct land grabs. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been stationed in Syria in support of the Syrian President Assad. The IRGC relies on Hezbollah to maintain an Iranian influence in Lebanon.

This is not the first time Syria has supported the release of ISIS militants. The Syrian government released militants from Syrian prisons with the prime objective to destroy moderate rebel groups.

Under the guise of fighting terrorism alongside Moscow and Washington, the IRGC is utilizing every opportunity to strengthen their presence in the region, either through strengthening their allies like Hezbollah or building a military presence in Syria.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov attends his annual news conference in Moscow
July 17, 2019
Russia: US pursuit of Iran dangerous to Middle East


Cookie Settings