At least three Jaysh al-Izza militants were killed on January 26 when the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) artillery pounded the group’s positions in the northern and northwestern Hama countryside, according to Syrian opposition activists.
One of the casualties was identified as Manaf Alioui al-Syd, a field commander in Jaysh al-Izza. The Turkish-backed group is known to be one of the key allies of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the army stuck positions of Jaysh al-Izza in the towns of al-Lataminah, Lahaya, al-Buwaydah and Maarkaba on January 26 in response to several new violations of the Russian-Turkish demilitarized zone agreement.
The shelling continued on January 27, according to Syrian opposition sources, which confirmed that the SAA struck several opposition-held towns in the northern Hama countryside, including Murak.
Earlier this week, Russia and Turkey agreed to work on additional measures to implement the demilitarized zone agreement. However, Ankara is yet to take any noticeable steps to reinforce the agreement.