Dozens of ISIS militants, among them warlords and foreign fighters, were killed in a series of Russian airstrikes in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The Russian Air Force also targeted command posts, heavy weaponry, and ammunition depots.
“During the last day, [a] Russian Air Force task force in Syria [targeted] Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] reinforcements of foreign fighters coming from Iraq to the vicinity of the town of Abu Kamal near [the] Iraq-Syria border,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
As all terrorist targets, including command outposts, manpower and armored vehicles, were identified and confirmed within a week, a series of airstrikes followed, it added.
“An airstrike near Abu Kamal destroyed Islamists’ outpost, killing some 40 militants from Tajikistan and Iraq, as well as 7 SUVs with DShK and ZU-23-2 machine guns mounted on them,” the statement said.
A separate strike near the city of Mayadin killed up to 80 terrorists, among them nine fighters from the northern Caucasus, and destroyed a command center, 18 SUVs, and three ammunition depots.
Also, Russian jets bombed “a group of 60 foreign fighters, nationals of [former Soviet republics], Tunisia and Egypt,” the statement said, adding that 12 SUVs carrying heavy weapons were destroyed in the airstrike.
The defense ministry also confirmed that a previous strike near Abu Kamal killed influential Islamic State field commanders, said to be “natives of Northern Caucasus.”
Earlier this week, Russian surgical strikes targeted a number of terrorist leaders in various parts of Syria.
On Wednesday, the Russian MoD said Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the Commander-in-Chief of Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), was critically injured in an airstrike.
Al-Julani “sustained shrapnel wounds and is in a critical condition after losing his arm, according to information from multiple independent sources,” according to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. The MoD later said Al-Julani fell into a coma due to his injuries.
Among the commanders killed in the airstrike were Tahrir al-Sham’s ‘finance emir,’ a chief of Idlib’s southern sector, an adviser to the ‘war minister,’ a Sharia judge, and an aide to a spiritual leader, the defense ministry said at the time.
The airstrike also destroyed a nearby “ammunition and explosives depot and six SUVs with large-caliber weapons,” Konashenkov said.
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