Back in August 2014, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front, and Islamic State group (IS) forces attacked the Lebanese town of Arsal. The fighting concluded with the capture of 30 Lebanese policemen and soldiers. Immediately after the battle, the Nusra Front and IS executed two soldiers each. One died from wounds sustained from fighting in Arsal, while 16 soldiers remained in the custody of the Nusra Front, and nine remained imprisoned by IS.

Sixteen months later, an exchange of captives took place between Lebanon and the Nusra Front. The deal was brokered by Qatar, who has over the last decade been playing somewhat controversial, but often crucial roles in conflict mediation throughout the region.

The full article originally appears in The Huffington Post.