The Russian Defense Ministry says it has killed four senior Islamic State (IS) commanders in an air strike targeting the extremist group in Syria’s eastern city of Deir el-Zour.
Russian news agencies on September 8 quoted a ministry statement as saying that 40 militants were killed in the air strike, including Abu Muhammad al-Shimali, who is responsible for foreign IS fighters.
Heavy fighting continues between Syrian government forces, backed by Russia, and IS fighters seeking to reinstate a siege of Deir al-Zour.
Russian President Vladimir Putin this week congratulated his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, after Syrian state media said government troops had broken the three-year siege of the city by IS forces.
In the months after Russia began a campaign of air strikes in Syria in September 2015, Western officials said it mainly targeted not IS militants but other opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.
Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP/Radio Free Europe