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Jabhat al-Nusra leader sinks into coma after Russian aircraft strike — Defense Ministry

October 05, 9:48 UTC+3

The destruction of the Jabhat al-Nusra command and the fact that it's leader, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, sank into a coma, caused confusion among terrorists, Russian Defense Ministry said

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. Leader of the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group (outlawed in Russia), Abu Muhammad al-Julani, has fallen into a coma after an airstrike carried out by Russia’s Aerospace Forces, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Thursday.

"Over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry continued special operations to wipe out terrorists of the Jabhat al-Nusra (Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham group outlawed in Russia - TASS) who attacked the Russian military police observation post on the border of the Idlib de-escalation zone on September 18. The destruction of the Jabhat al-Nusra command by Russia’s Aerospace Forces and, according to the available information, the fact that it's leader, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, sank into a coma, caused confusion among terrorists throughout the Idlib province," the ministry said.

The Sukhoi Su-34 bomber of the Russian Aerospace Forces has wiped out 49 militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra group, including seven leaders of militant units of the terrorist organization’s "eastern sector", Russian Defense Ministry said.

"The Russian military intelligence has received information about the emergency meeting of the Al-Nusra’s ‘eastern sector’ field commanders in the Idlib province to draw a plan for further action. After the confirmation of this information through various channels, the command of the Russian force grouping in Syria decided to conduct an airstrike. A precision strike carried out by a Su-34 bomber has eliminated 49 gunmen, including seven leaders of militant units of al-Nusra’s eastern sector," the ministry said.

Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces has liquidated Jabhat al-Nusra’s largest underground arsenal in Syria where more than 1,000 tonnes of ammunition was stored, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

"Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces has destroyed the largest underground arsenal of Jabhat al-Nusra (Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, a terror organization outlawed in Russia) near the community of Abu al-Duhur where terrorists stored more than 1,000 tonnes of ammunition for tube and missile artillery," Konashenkov said.

He noted that Russian reconnaissance has been long studying how militants transport munitions to their strongholds and opposition areas. "Having analyzed much information received through various channels, [they] determined the area where the arsenal was most probably located and its exact coordinates after supplemental ground reconnaissance," the spokesman explained.

According to the ministry, "the munitions depot was destroyed by special air-delivered massive ordnance designed to destroy underground facilities." "The fire sparked by detonated munitions lasted a few hours up to their complete burning," Konashenkov added.

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