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.
Russia's Aerospace Forces have critically wounded HTS leader and former Al Nusra Front "emir" Abu Mohammad al-Julani in Syria, APA reported citing Sputnik International.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement it had targeted Abu Mohamad al-Golani in an intelligence-led special operation while he was meeting his field commanders.
Al-Julani received multiple heavy fragmentation wounds and lost a hand, leaving him in critical condition, according to several independent sources.
Russian Federation said in July that it might have killed the leader of the rival jihadist group Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
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Al-Julani was formerly the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra until it merged with four other groups to form Tharir al-Sham.
ISIS news agency Amak claimed the men are Russian "soldiers" who were taken as prisoners of war.
Last month Russian Federation claimed to have killed several top IS commanders in an air strike including the US-trained "minister of war" Gulmurod Khalimov.
More than 330,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.