The Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed an ISIS command center and a communication hub eliminating about 40 ISIS members, including the terrorist group’s minister of war, Gulmurod Khalimov, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday.
The ISIS facilities were located near the city of Deir Ezzor. In total, 4 ISIS commanders were killed in the air strike.
“It has been confirmed that there are four important field commanders among the eliminated militants, including the so-called ‘Emir of Deir ez-Zor’ [Deir Ezzor] Abu Muhammad al-Shimali, who was responsible for financial affairs and the transfer of recruits to the IS [ISIS] training camps. It has also been established that the so-called ‘minister of war’ of the Islamic State terror group, Gulmurod Khalimov, was present at the meeting and died of fatal wounds,” the ministry said.
Khalimov was a former special forces commander of the Tajik Interior Ministry. In May 2015, he and six his soldiers defected to ISIS.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it received info about the expected ISIS meeting on Spetember 5.
“Militant envoys and important field commanders planned to discuss the current situation and outline emergency measures to be taken given the Syrian government forces’ rapid offensive towards the city [Deir Ezzor]. After the information was confirmed and additional reconnaissance was carried out to better define the targets, two Russian warplanes – a Sukhoi Su-34 and a Sukhoi Su-35 – were scrambled from the Hmeimim air base, which delivered a precision airstrike dropping bunker-busting bombs.”