The Turkish-backed, Jaysh al-Izza, claimed on December 19 that its fighters ambushed a unit of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), which was planning to advance in the opposition-held part of the northern Hama countryside. The group said that over 30 Syrian service members were killed in the supposed ambush.
“After spying on the communication coming from Assad’s gangs’ operations [room] and with help from our soldiers behind the enemy’s lines, we received information that the regime is planning to advance on an axis in the northern Hama countryside,” the group claimed in a short press release.
A source in the SAA told SouthFront that Jaysh al-Izza didn’t ambush any unit of the SAA, but launched a large attack on the checkpoint of the army near the town of Masasneh. As a result, eleven soldiers and officers of the SAA’s 87th Brigade were killed and many others were injured.
“They took advantage of the fog and infiltrated the position,” the source said.
Jaysh al-Izza attack is a major violation of the Russian-Turkish demilitarized zone agreement, which was reached in mid-September. The SAA and its allies will likely retaliate to this violation in the upcoming hours.
Last month, the SAA’s special forces killed more than nineteen fighters of Jaysh al-Izza in a response to a similar violation of the demilitarized zone agreement.