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Russian airstrikes kill 120 IS militants, 60 mercenaries in Syria

Russian airstrikes kill 120 IS militants, 60 mercenaries in Syria

The push into the town of Mayadeen came as al-Qaida-linked fighters attacked a key central Syrian village at the crossroads between areas under government control and those controlled by insurgents, activists said.

"To the south of Deir ez-Zor in the valley of the Euphrates river a group of over 60 foreign mercenaries originating from CIS countries, Tunisia and the Arab Republic of Egypt were killed in an airstrike". The US military base in al-Tanf protected by a "human shield" consisting of Syrian refugees has turned into a "black hole" on the Syrian-Jordanian state border from where mobile groups of the Islamic State (IS, terror group, outlawed in Russia) carry out sabotage and terror attacks, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.

In addition, Konashenkov confirmed the deaths of three IS field commanders in recent Russian air attacks in Syria, including senior leader Abu Omar al-Shishani.

Russia's Ministry of Defense is accusing the US of being the last big hurdle in the way of destroying the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Syria, after repeatedly alleging Washington is shielding the group it claims to be fighting.

"A command post of the terrorists and up to 80 (IS) fighters including nine natives of the Northern Caucasus were destroyed in the area of Mayadeen", the Russian Defense Ministry said, AFP news agency reported.




One Syrian Army source, speaking to Al-Masdar News, said that Al-Mayadeen should be fully liberated from IS terrorists within twelve hours.

President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been advancing rapidly in a bid to expel the jihadists from the province.

The advances against IS in Deir Ezzor have cost a heavy civilian death toll from Russian and coalition air raids.

Islamic State has lost swathes of territory to the Syrian government and to US-backed Syrian militias that are waging separate campaigns against the militant group's last major strongholds in Deir Ezzor province.

"The incident occurred while the Mi-28 was escorting another helicopter, a Mi-8, carrying personnel of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Conflicting Parties", the Defense Ministry said.

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