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Russian warplanes kill 2 top IS commanders: defense ministry

(Xinhua)    12:13, June 18, 2017

In this photo provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service shows Russian air force Tu-22M3 bombers strike the Islamic State targets in Syria, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. The air raid targeted the IS around Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria where the IS has launched an offensive against Syrian government forces. [Photo: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP]

Based on disclosures by their unmanned aerial vehicles, the Russian troops in Syria carried out strikes on IS militants and thwarted the terrorist group's planned sortie against the defense lines of the Syrian government forces in the city of Deir ez-Zor, according to a statement of the ministry.

"The preemptive airstrikes, which the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out on the sites of ISIL facilities on June 6 and June 8, killed ISIL field commanders Abu Omar al-Baljiki and Abu Yassin al-Masri" Russia's Interfax news agency cited the ministry's statement as saying, using another acronym of the terrorist group.

In addition, a total of 180 IS militants were also killed, and 16 automotive and armored vehicles and tanks, one artillery, four control posts and an ammunition storage depot were destroyed as a result of the strikes, the statement said.

The Defense Ministry said Friday that an airstrike it carried out in northern Syria on May 28 might have killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. So far, no official confirmation of it has been released.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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