Russian Air Strike 'Injures Top Jihadist'

The leader of terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra, tied to al Qaida, has been seriously injured in a Russian air raid on Syria, according to Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

Ahmad al-Ghizai, al-Julani's close aid and head of security, was also killed, along with about 50 militants from the commanders' security detail, Konashenkov said.

Al-Julani received multiple heavy fragmentation wounds and lost a hand, leaving him in critical condition, according to several independent sources.

The strike came after Russia's military learnt where Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) commanders were due to meet, it added.

ISIS news agency Amak claimed the men are Russian "soldiers" who were taken as prisoners of war.

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A Russian Defence Ministry spokesman said: 'All servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces in the Syrian Arab Republic are safe and in a good condition and are performing their designated tasks'.

Jabhat al-Nusra, or Al-Nusra Front, was the name of a militant group that was described as Al-Qaeda's branch in Syria.

Earlier this month the IS group released an audio recording of what it said was its leader al-Baghdadi.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement it had targeted Abu Mohamad al-Golani in an intelligence-led special operation while he was meeting his field commanders.

Turkey, Russia, and Iran are making major efforts to reduce fighting in and around Idlib, with a deal in the Astana peace talks bringing most of the rebels on board.

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