Russia targets al-Qaida positions in Syria 2 days in a row

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MOSCOW – Russia's military says its jets have been targeting positions of an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria for two straight days, killing seven militant commanders and dozens of fighters.

Moscow blamed the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee for attacking Russian military police last month.

The Defense Ministry said Thursday that seven of the group's commanders and 49 militants were killed in the airstrikes in the Idlib province on Wednesday. The strikes also destroyed a major ammunition depot at a militant-controlled air base.

On Wednesday, the Russian military reported that its airstrikes critically wounded the group's leader a day earlier.

Russia has been waging an air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces since 2015, helping them to make major advances against the Islamic State group, al-Qaida-linked insurgents and mainstream rebels.

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