ERBIL— The Islamic State (IS) commanders near the Syrian city of Dier ez-Zor were targeted by the Russian airstrikes which killed about 40 militants, including four "influential" warlords, Russian Ministry of Defense stated on Friday.
The Ministry's statement, published by the Russian Sputnik news, indicated that the extremists were targeted during a meeting of the commanders in the vicinity of Deir ez-Zor.
The ministry had received intelligence information about the meeting on September 5. According to the statement, the commanders were to discuss the current situation and to agree on urgent measures with regards to the progress of the Syrian army on the city.
The statement said "After confirming the information received and conducting additional reconnaissance, two Su-34 and Su-35 aircraft of Russia's Aerospace Forces were scrambled from the Khmeimim air base, which made a pinpoint strike with bunker busting bombs. The air strike destroyed an underground terrorist command post, a communications center and about 40 militants of Daesh [IS]."
Among the eliminated commanders was "the sharif of Deir ez-Zor" Abu Muhammad al-Shimali who was responsible for finance as well as redeployment of new recruits to Daesh training camps.
Another was IS "war minister", Gulmurod Khalimov (Tajik national) who died of a lethal injury, according to the statement.