27 Sep 2017 09:04

Five field commanders, 32 militants killed in missile strike south of Syria's Idlib - Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW. Sept 27 (Interfax-AVN) - Five field commanders and 32 militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia) have been killed in a missile strike delivered by aircraft south of Idlib, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told the press on Wednesday.

"Aircraft fired precision-guided missiles on a building outside the populated locality after several sources confirmed that field commanders would be having a conference there. Five field commanders were killed, in addition to 32 militants," Konashenkov said.

"The Defense Ministry employed its entire multi-level reconnaissance system in Syria after terrorists attacked Russian military police officers in the Hama province on September 18 in order to track down and kill commanders of the militants on the offensive," he said.

"The date and venue of a conference of influential field commanders of Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham (aka Jabhat al-Nusra) south of the Idlib city were uncovered" in the course of the operation, Konashenkov said.

In addition to the field commanders and rank-and-file militants, the strike "destroyed an arms and ammo depot, and six cross-country vehicles armed with heavy weapons," Konashenkov said.

The missiles killed Abu Sulman al-Saudi (head of the southern sector in the Idlib province), Abu al-Abbas Anadin (emir for financial affairs), Abu Hassan (advisor to military minister Abu Muhammad al-Julani), Waleed al-Mustafa (assistant to religious leader Abdullah al-Muhaysini), and Abu Mujahid (Sharia judge), he said.

"The operation aimed to find and kill all militants involved in the attack on Russian servicemen in Syria continues," Konashenkov said.