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Russian jets strike terrorist positions in Syria’s militant-held Idlib region: Defense ministry

In this file picture, Russian Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets land at the Russia-run Hmeimim airbase in Syria's western coastal province of Latakia. (By AFP)

The Russian Defense Ministry says the country’s fighter jets have carried out a series of airstrikes on the positions of the members of the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist outfit in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, killing dozens of terrorists in the process.

Deputy head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, Major General Oleg Yegorov, said the air attacks destroyed three camps of the terrorists in Sheikh Yousef village, which lies in the Armanaz sub-district of the province.

He added that weapons depots and warehouses of the militants were destroyed as a result. More than 45 militants, including field commanders Bilal Saeed and Abu Dujan al-Diri, were also killed.

Yegorov noted that the slain terrorists were involved in attacks on Syrian troops and civilians in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

They also took part in organized terrorist attacks on government-controlled territories across Syria.

The development took place more than a week after Russian fighter jets killed the leader of the so-called Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad terrorist group, Sirajuddin Mukhtarov, in an airstrike against a militant camp in Idlib province on September 8.

Yegorov said at the time that Mukhtarov was responsible for organizing terror attacks on Syrian government forces and civil infrastructure facilities.

He added that more than 20 high-ranking HTS terrorists were also killed in the aerial attack.

Yegorov noted that the terrorists were in charge of “combat training of militants, and organizing the financial and administrative activities” of their comrades.

Russia has been providing Syrian forces with crucial military assistance in the ongoing battles against militants across the conflict-plagued Arab country. 

The Russian assistance, which began in September 2015 at the official request of the Syrian government, has proved effective as Syrians continue to recapture key areas from remnants of the Daesh terrorist group and other foreign-backed terrorist factions.

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