The Russian military on Thursday said one of its airstrikes in Syria this week killed at least 30 members of Syria's al-Qaida-linked group, including some of its leaders.
Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov said the strike took place in Syria's northern province of Idlib. |
He says it was launched from a Russian aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean and hit the al-Qaida-linked militant group, now known as Fatah al-Sham Front. Konashenkov said on Thursday that Russian intelligence reports have confirmed that three prominent leaders of the al-Qaida branch Muhammad Helala, Abu Jaber Harmuja and Abul Baha Al-Asfari were among those killed.
The strike was part of a long-anticipated offensive against rebel-held areas announced by Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.