Big ransom and syria deals win release of royal qatari hunters – the new york times binary explained

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BAGHDAD — More than a year ago, Shiite militants raced through the southern Iraqi desert in a convoy of sport utility vehicles and ambushed and abducted a party of well-armed falcon hunters that included members of the Qatari royal family.

For months, the kidnapped hunters were held as pawns in a complex regional game pitting Iranian proxies against those working on behalf of Qatar, armed groups in both Iraq and Syria, and ransom negotiations involving many millions of dollars.

On Friday, after 16 months in captivity, the hunting party walked free, returned by their captors to Iraq’s Interior Ministry in Baghdad, where officers scrutinized the Qataris’ passports and took their photographs and fingerprints, according to Wahab al-Taee, a spokesman for the ministry.

They were then delivered to the embassy of Qatar, which for days had stationed a plane at the airport in anticipation of their release.


The Guardian reported earlier that a deal for the hostages’ freedom was imminent.

Their release, which involved the payment of millions of dollars in ransom to an Iraqi militia backed by Iran, was tied to a broader deal involving a trading of besieged sectarian populations among four towns in Syria, according to a senior Shiite leader in Iraq who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

The Iraqi Shiite official said the release of the Qatari prisoners was linked to the safe evacuation of — and delivery of humanitarian aid to — residents of two Shiite villages in Idlib Province, Fouaa and Kfarya famous quotes about life and death. They have been under government control but besieged by Sunni Islamist rebel groups backed by Turkey and Qatar.

The Syrian deal was negotiated separately before the fate of the hostages became entwined with the talks 1 usd in euro. As part of that agreement, residents of two predominantly Sunni villages, Madaya and Zabadani, that have been held by rebels but besieged by forces loyal to the Syrian government are to be bused to safety usd to zar chart. Many of them, about 2,000 people, have already been evacuated from Madaya gold usd. Photo

Residents evacuated from the besieged Syrian towns of Fouaa and Kfarya arrived in the eastern outskirts of Aleppo on Friday crude oil futures marketwatch. Their safe transfer was linked to the release of a group of wealthy hunters who were being held hostage python binary. Credit

Last week, as the evacuation of the Shiite villages was underway, dozens of people were killed when buses of evacuees were hit by a powerful car bomb hkd to usd exchange rate history. The attack stalled the transfer of the civilians and delayed the release of the Qatari hostages oil futures market hours. On Friday, the transfers, which critics have said amount to sectarian cleansing and will result in permanent demographic shifts in Syria, resumed, according to The Associated Press.

The Qataris, according to another senior Iraqi official, paid millions of dollars to Kita’ib Hezbollah, an Iraqi Shiite militia controlled by Iran that had abducted the hostages.

Earlier in the week, Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, was asked at a news conference about the fate of the hunters us stock market futures cnn. Mr. Abadi is thought to have played only a minimal role, if any, in the negotiations — a reflection of the power that Iran wields in Iraq through the numerous militias it supports.

The kidnapping of the hunters, in December 2015, came around the time of two other abductions involving citizens of Turkey and the United States.

Earlier that year, 17 Turkish workers were roused from their sleep at a construction site by masked gunmen and taken away. A month later, they were released unharmed. Three Americans were taken in January 2016 from an apartment in Baghdad gender identity. They were later freed after negotiations involving the Iraqi intelligence service in which Moktada al-Sadr, an influential Shiite cleric, helped secure their release.

The Qatari hunters were captured in southern Iraq, largely considered a safe place unmarred by violence. The country’s north, in contrast, has been engulfed by strife; the Islamic State seized cities there in 2014 and is fighting now to hold on to Mosul in the face of an offensive by government forces.

The desert has also been a popular place for wealthy Arabs like the Qataris to hunt for falcons. At the time of the abductions, the local governor described a sophisticated, militarylike operation in which the kidnappers arrived in dozens of S.U.V.s with mounted machine guns and stormed a cluster of tents set up by the Qataris.

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