The Russian Defense Ministry said Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the leader of Tahrir al-Sham and formerly the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, was critically injured in an air strike in Syria.

Abu Mohammad al-Julani

Abu Mohammad al-Julani Photo credit: Wikipedia/Channel 2 News

Russia says it has critically injured Abu Mohammad al-Julani, one of the leaders of Tahrir al-Sham, in an air strike in Syria.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 12 other senior commanders of the terrorist group were also injured in the strike. Al-Julani, though, is said to have been the main target of the operation.

“As a result of the strike, al-Julani took several hits from ricochets, lost an arm and he is now in critical condition,” said Igor Yevgenyevich Konashenkov, a spokesman for the ministry.

Al-Julani was formerly the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra until it merged with four other groups to form Tahrir al-Sham. It then said it had cut its ties with al-Qaeda, though the United States still considers it part of the al-Qaeda Syrian network.

Konashenkov added that the strike was part of a long-term operation targeted at those responsible for the encirclement of 29 Russian military police officers outside Idlib on September 18.