A Russian air force strike against the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front terrorist group has resulted in serious injuries to its Syrian leader and the death of its 12 field commanders, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
He said 12 field commanders including al-Jolani's security chief were also killed along with about 50 guards.
The defence ministry cited its sources as confirming that Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani lost limbs in the attack in the north province of Idlib on Tuesday.
Russian-led forces tracked down the militants using data obtained by Russian intelligence while HTS fighters gathered for a meeting.
Since 2017, it is a predominant part of a coalition of militant factions called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
Washington and the United Nations did not recognise the break from Al-Qaeda and retained the jihadists on their terror blacklists. Russian Federation has claimed to have killed several top jihadist commanders recently.
The Ministry's spokesman Maj.
Over the past months Russian Federation has claimed to have killed several top jihadist commanders.
Earlier this month the IS group released an audio recording of what it said was its leader al-Baghdadi. In September, Russia claimed to have killed several top IS commanders in an air strike including the US-trained "minister of war" Gulmurod Khalimov.
Russian Federation carried out the airstrikes on Tuesday at an undisclosed location in Syria after receiving intelligence about an upcoming high-level meeting of the group's leaders, the ministry said.
Turkey, Russia, and Iran are making major efforts to reduce fighting in and around Idlib, with a deal in the Astana peace talks bringing most of the rebels on board.