MOSCOW: Russia claimed Friday to have killed several top commanders of Daesh (ISIS) in an airstrike in Syria, including the so-called Emir of Deir al-Zor and the "Minister of War".
"As a result of a precision airstrike of the Russian air forces in the vicinity of Deir al-Zor city, a command post, communication centre and some 40 Daesh 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 al-Zor emir Abu Mohammed al-Shimali," the ministry said.
Gulmurod Khalimov, a native of Tajikistan who is known as the Daesh group's Minister of War, suffered a "fatal injury", the ministry added.
Khalimov headed the Tajik interior ministry's special forces unit before joining Daesh in 2015.
Backed by Russia, Syrian troops on Tuesday broke through a years-long siege imposed by Daesh militants on tens of thousands of civilians in Deir al-Zor.