IS 'Minister of War' killed in airstrike, says Russia
September 08 2017 10:32 AM
Syrian government forces fire artillery shells as they advance in Al-Shula on the southwestern outskirts of Deir Ezzor, on Thursday.


Russia claimed on Friday to have killed several top commanders of the Islamic State group in an airstrike in Syria, including the so-called Emir of Deir Ezzor and the "Minister of War".
"As a result of a precision airstrike of the Russian air forces in the vicinity of Deir Ezzor city, a command post, communication centre and some 40 ISIS fighters have been killed," the Russian defence ministry said in a statement on Facebook.
"According to confirmed data, among the killed fighters are four influential field commanders including Deir Ezzor emir Abu Mohammed al-Shimali," the ministry said.
Gulmurod Khalimov, a native of Tajikistan who is known as the IS group's Minister of War, suffered a "fatal injury", the ministry added.
Khalimov headed the Tajik interior ministry's special forces unit before joining IS in 2015.
Backed by Russia, Syrian troops on Tuesday broke through a years-long siege imposed by IS militants on tens of thousands of civilians in Deir Ezzor.

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