Syrian regime preferred freedom of foreigners over its fighters opposition chief

e head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition said on Thursday the regime chose the freedom of 48 Iranians over that of Syrian army soldiers.

In an interview with Al Arabiya's Studio Beirut program on Thursday, Muath al-Khatib said the Free Syrian Army (FSA) told the regime it would swap 200 Alawite officers in exchange for hostages held by the Syrian government, but the regime of chose the “freedom of foreigners” instead.

The 48 Iranians held hostage by Syrian rebels for more than five months were released in a prisoner exchange and arrived back in Tehran on Thursday.

The FSA agreed to swap the Iranians for more than 2,000 detainees held by the regime – a close ally of the Islamic republic.

Khatib, speaking from Cairo, told Al Arabiya presenter Gisele Khoury his coalition was ready to accept an initiative that guarantees the resignation of President Assad and the formation of a transitional government, adding his alliance was in touch with top leaders in the regime.

The opposition leader also said that a legal committee will soon hand a list including the names of 250 people who were involved in crimes to the International Criminal Court.

According to the United Nations, more than 60,000 people have been killed since the revolt against the Assad regime erupted in March 2011. SHOW MORE

Last Update: Friday, 11 January 2013 KSA 23:04 - GMT 20:04