DESTROYED: Syrian troops walk in the streets of the residential neighbourhoods in  the modern town adjacent to the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. Picture: AFP
DESTROYED: Syrian troops walk in the streets of the residential neighbourhoods in the modern town adjacent to the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. Picture: AFP

Moscow — Russia has claimed to have killed several top commanders of Islamic State (IS) in an airstrike in Syria, including the so-called Emir of Deir Ezzor and the "minister of war".

"As a result of a precision airstrike of the Russian air forces in the vicinity of Deir Ezzor city, a command post, communication centre and some 40 IS 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 Ezzor emir Abu Mohammed al-Shimali," the ministry said.

Gulmurod Khalimov, a native of Tajikistan who is known as the IS group’s minister of war, suffered a "fatal injury", the ministry added.

Khalimov headed the Tajik interior ministry’s special forces unit before joining IS in 2015.

Backed by Russia, Syrian troops on Tuesday broke through a years-long siege imposed by IS militants on tens of thousands of civilians in Deir Ezzor.

AFP

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