Russia claimed Friday to have killed several top commanders of ISIS group in an airstrike in Syria, including the so-called Emir of Deir Ezzor and the “Minister of War”.
“As a result of a precision airstrike of the Russian air forces in the vicinity of Deir Ezzor city, a command post, communication center and some 40 ISIS fighters have been killed,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement on Facebook.
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“According to confirmed data, among the killed fighters are four influential field commanders including Deir Ezzor emir Abu Mohammed al-Shimali,” the ministry said. Gulmurod Khalimov, a native of Tajikistan who is known as the IS group’s Minister of War, suffered a “fatal injury”, the ministry added.
Khalimov headed the Tajik interior ministry’s special forces unit before joining IS in 2015. Backed by Russia, Syrian troops on Tuesday broke through a years-long siege imposed by ISIS militants on tens of thousands of civilians in Deir Ezzor.