Air strikes on Syria: Russia claims 180 Islamic States fighter killed, including two field commanders

Moscow: Russia said on Saturday that airstrikes carried out in June had killed about 180 Islamic State jihadists in Syria, including two field commanders.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

"As a result of 6 June and 8 June aerial strikes on targets belonging to IS (Islamic State) fighters, IS field commanders Abu Omar al-Belgiki and Abu Yasin al-Masri were killed" in Deir Ezzor, a province held mostly by Islamic State forces, the defence ministry said in a statement carried by the Interfax news agency.

The ministry said that around 180 fighters were killed, and that 16 military vehicles were destroyed along with weapons stores.

It said the strikes took place after Russian forces using drones spotted preparations by Islamic State fighters to break through the defences of a garrison held by Syrian government forces in the city of Deir Ezzor.

The defence ministry did not make any mention of the possible death of Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after saying on Friday that it was seeking to verify whether he had been killed in a night raid in Syria in May.

Updated Date: Jun 17, 2017 22:10 PM

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