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Russian airstrikes kill 12 al-Qaida-linked commanders in Syria's Idlib

A total of 12 field commanders with the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front were killed by Russian airstrikes against their positions in the country's northern city of Idlib, state news agency SANA reported on Wednesday.

The leader of the Nusra Front, Ahmed Hussein al-Shar'a, known by the nom de guerre Abu Mohammad al-Julani, has suffered grave wounds as a result of the airstrikes, the report cited the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.

Other reports have suggested that al-Julani may have lost his hand.

There has been no specified date of the airstrikes, but they most likely took place overnight.

Idlib has emerged as the main stronghold for the Nusra Front, which has changed names recently to divert the attention from its ties with al-Qaida.

However, the group has remained a target for the international operations taking place in Syria against the terror-labeled groups, mainly the Nusra and the Islamic State (IS).

[Source: Xinhua, Damascus, 04Oct17]

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