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Syria: Al-Nusra’s Joulani Injured, Senior Terrorist Commanders Killed in Airstrike

4 October 2017 12:49

 

The newly-appointed Chief Commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hayat (the Levant Liberation Board or Al-Nusra Front) was badly wounded while at least 12 senior commanders of the Al-Nusra were killed in a Russian air raid on the venue of their meeting, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Abu Mohammad al-Joulani, who was appointed as the Commander-in-chief of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at earlier this week, was targeted by the Russian airstrike, the ministry’s Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said.

“Joulani sustained shrapnel wounds and is in a critical condition after losing his arm, according to information from multiple independent sources,” Konashenkov added. The airstrike killed at least 12 Al-Nusra field commanders and some 50 members of the group’s security detail, the ministry’s spokesman said, adding that Joulani’s aide was also killed in the Russian strike.

On October 3, Russian intelligence “uncovered the time and place of the Al-Nusra leadership meeting” led by Joulani, the statement said. After getting confirmation of the terrorists’ arrival and the start of the meeting, Su-34 fighter-bombers and Su-35 fighters were deployed to strike the location.

More than a dozen militants were also injured in the airstrike, the ministry added.

Tahrir al-Sham Hayat announced in a statement on Monday that its commander general Abu Jaber al-Sheikh resigned, adding that the chief commander of Al-Nusra Front was appointed as his successor.

Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at’s statement said that Abu Jaber al-Sheih resigned from his post and Abu Mohammad Joulani, the top commander of Al-Nusra, was appointed as the new general commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at.

Joulani was deputy chief commander and military commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at.

Joulani was also chief Commander of Al-Nusra Front.

The statement added that Abu Jaber was appointed as head of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at Council.

Militant-affiliated websites in Syria disclosed last week that Abu Mohammad Joulani was significantly involved in the assassination of several commanders of the terrorist group in recent years.

The websites reported that Abu Mohammad Joulani was behind the assassination of Jeish al-Fatah military commander Abu Hajar Homsi nom de guerre Abu Omar Saraqeb, adding that Abu Omar Saraqeb had revealed his intension for cutting relations with Joulani to join Ahrar al-Sham.

The websites added that Yunis Sha’eib now de guerre Abu al-Hassan Taftnaz was killed in an assassination after he foiled some of the plans of Joulani in the Al-Nusra Front.

They went on to say that Joulani had orchestrated assassination of several commanders of ISIL, including Abu al-Faraj al-Mesri and Abu al-Faras Souri, that had defected ISIL and joined Al-Nusra and had criticized Joulani harshly several times.

The websites said that Joulani had also planned to kill Abdullah al-Muhaysini, the Saudi Mufti of the terrorists, in an attack, but al-Muhaysini found out and cut relations with him.

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