Social media reports that claimed that the Islamic State has agreed to release the 17 Peshmerga soldiers ― whom it paraded in cages recently in Kirkuk ― in exchange for 105 militants captured by the Kurdish militia have turned out to be a rumour.
A recent ISIS video showed the 17 Peshmerga fighters being paraded through the streets of Kirkuk in cages wearing orange jump suits. The militant outfit has threatened to burn all the 17 soldiers alive similar to what it did to Jordanian pilot Muath al Kaseasbeh.
Since Sunday, there have been several social media reports that a prisoner exchange between ISIS and the Kurdish government is about to take place.
A local Kurdish media report citing a prominent Peshmerga minister, however, stated the Kurdish government is yet to hear from ISIS.
Kurdish Member of Parliament, Qadir Watman, who sits on the Peshmerga Affairs Committee told BasNews, "ISIS has refused to exchange or free the Peshmerga prisoners. They have told Sunni tribal leaders that ISIS doesn't want the prisoners that have been captured by the Peshmerga."
— Mete Sohtaoğlu (@metesohtaoglu) February 16, 2015
Rumours on the release of the Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers seems to have gone viral after a report claimed that in a first ISIS has released 17 Peshmerga in exchange for 105 ISIS prisoners held captive by the Kurdish soldiers.
The report even claimed that the negogiation efforts were led by the Arab tribes in Hawija, in the province of Kirkuk and that the 17 Peshmerga soldiers were united with their family members in Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah.
Osamah Golpy @OsamaGolpy
Ministry of #Peshmerga:reports that there was a prisoner swap with #ISIS are baseless. fate of those held is still unclear. #TwitterKurds
AJ de Wit @aizejeep
Great..."@SumerRising: #Iraq; Peshmerga have reportedly completed a prisoner swap deal with #ISIS. 106 #ISIS militants for 17 peshmerga. :/"
Sajad Jiyad سجاد @SajadJiyad
Reports that 17 peshmerga held by daesh were released in exchange for 105 daesh prisoners held by the KRG
Zaid Benjamin @zaidbenjamin
#Breaking: Kurdish authorities frees 127 fighters in return for 17 Peshmerga soldiers - Source