Rusissan warplanes have killed 12 commanders of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and injured the group’s leader Abu Muhammad al-Julani, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday.

“On October 3, the Russian military intelligence found out the time and venue of the Jabhat al-Nusra leaders’ meeting led by the group’s leader, Abu Muhammad al-Julani. The Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-35 planes from Russia’s aircraft alert force in Syria were assigned to hit the target,” the ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov said. “After the attack, Jabhat al-Nusra leader, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, sustained multiple heavy shrapnel wounds and, having lost his arm, according to several independent sources, is in critical condition. Along with numerous (about 50 people) body guards, twelve Jabhat al-Nusra field commanders, including al-Julani’s closest assistant, head of the group’s security service Ahmad al-Ghizai, have been killed.”

Konashenkov added that about a dozen of militants received wounds as a result of the airstrike.

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