BEIRUT: None of the 100 female Syrians detained by Damascus has been freed as part of the weekend swap deal that saw the release of nine Lebanese pilgrims and two Turkish pilots, caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said in remarks published Monday.
"None of the Syrian prisoners have been released from Syrian jails,” Charbel told the local newspaper An-Nahar.
But Charbel stressed that the delay of their release “doesn’t mean that the Syrians are out of the deal.”
"I don’t think that the Syrians will break their promise ... The Syrians have different judicial, administrative and logistical mechanisms, and I think that the matter will be over in the next 24 or 48 hours."
Unconfirmed reports emerged Saturday that over 100 Syrian female detainees had been released. The reports coincided with the release Saturday of nine Lebanese Shiites held by Syrian rebels and two Turkish Airlines pilots.
Eleven Lebanese Shiite pilgrims were abducted near the Aleppo district town of Azaz on May 22, 2012 as they headed home from a pilgrimage in Iran. Two of them were released last year.
The Turkish pilots were kidnapped in Beirut as part of a campaign to motivate Turkey to pressure the Syrian rebels into releasing the Lebanese hostages.