On July 17, Step News, a pro-opposition outlet, released a video accidentally revealing that Jaysh al-Izza trains its militants right next to a refugee camp.
The video, which was meant as a propaganda piece glorifying the group’s special forces, shows that the training camp is located a few meters away from a refugee camp in an unspecified area of Greater Idlib.
Refugee’s tents and children can be seen right behind the training field, where a battle tank and dozens of fully armed militants were preforming live drills to celebrate the graduation of a new unit.
The unit’s training course was named after Abdul Baset al-Sarout, a senior commander of Jaysh al-Izza and a so called “icon” of the Syrian opposition who was killed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in northern Hama last June.
In the video, Step’s reporter interviews a commander of Jaysh al-Izza, who claims that all the militants were trained to “respect human rights.” Apparently, the group don’t believe that using civilians as human shields is a violation of these rights.
Jaysh al-Izza is infamous for being a close ally of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria. The group is also believed to be responsible for several rocket attacks on civilian areas in northern Hama.