Former al-Nusra Front Leader Critically Injured in Russian Airstrike in Syria

Russia says it has killed 12 commanders of jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra

"The air raid - he said from Moscow - inflicted many serious wounds to the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Julani".

On October 3, Russian intelligence "uncovered the time and place of the Al-Nusra leadership meeting" led by Juliani, the statement said.

Abu Mohammad al-Julani had multiple heavy shrapnel wounds and lost his hand.

The defence ministry cited its sources as confirming that Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani lost limbs in the attack in the north province of Idlib on Tuesday.

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He said 12 field commanders including al-Golani's security chief were also killed along with some 50 guards. Al-Julani, though, is said to have been the main target of the operation.

Since 2017, Fateh al-Sham has dominated HTS, which is a coalition of rebel groups in northern Syria.

The alliance controls most of the northwestern province of Idlib after expelling former allies earlier this year.

There was no immediate comment from jihadist sources on the Russian claim.

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Jabhat al-Nusra, or Al-Nusra Front, was the name of a militant group that was described as Al-Qaeda's branch in Syria. But there was no confirmation from IS and a new audio message purportedly from Baghdadi was released last week.

Idlib province and some adjacent areas form one of four so-called de-escalation zones agreed in May by rebel backer Turkey and government allies Russian Federation and Iran.

More than 330,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

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