Oct. 4 (UPI) — The leader of the al-Nusra terrorist group in Syria was critically injured in a Russian air attack, Moscow’s defense ministry said Wednesday.
Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said militant leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani was targeted by Russian fighter planes and gravely wounded at a meeting of the group’s leaders.
Julani “sustained shrapnel wounds and is in a critical condition after losing his arm, according to information from multiple independent sources,” Konashenkov said.
Twelve other leaders in the al-Nusra hierarchy were killed in the strike, along with about 50 members of the leaders’ security forces, he added.
It was not revealed exactly where in Syria the airstrike occurred. It came a week after the ministry confirmed that five prominent al-Nusra field commanders died in Syria’s Idlib province. Those commanders led an attack on Russian police officers in Hama provinces in September.
Police officers in Idlib province were monitoring a ceasefire in Idlib’s de-escalation zone, the Russian new source RT.com reported.
The attack on the police officers was followed by a Russian operation against al-Nusra forces, also in Idlib province. Estimated al-Nusra losses included 850 soldiers and numerous tanks, vehicles and, mortars and ammunition.