By Busra Nur Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) – The Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria and opposition groups “mutually and simultaneously” release detainees as part of the Astana Process on Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
“Several persons detained by the opposition groups and the regime were mutually and simultaneously released on 16 December 2021 in the Abu al Zindeen district in the south of al-Bab, controlled by the opposition,” a ministry statement said.
The Working Group on the Release of Detainees/Abductees, Handover of Bodies and Identification of Missing Persons was established as part of the Astana process with the participation of Turkey, Russia and Iran as well as the UN.
“The Working Group will continue its activities in the coming period,” the statement added.
Syria has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters with unexpected ferocity.
The Astana peace process to end the conflict was launched in January 2017 at the initiative of Turkey, Russia, and Iran.
Meetings of Astana guarantors also contribute to the advancement of a UN-led diplomatic process in Geneva.