DAMASCUS, SYRIA (01:00 AM) – Salakhuddin Shishani, a high-ranking Chechen Al-Qaeda leader, was killed on Sunday by a Russian airstrike near Zaleen in northern Hama province.

Shashani, self-declared Emir of Jaish Usro and former top man in terrorist organisations Imarat Kavkaz v Shame and Jaish Muhajireen wal Ansar, is widely considered to have been the single most important foreign fighter within Al-Qaeda in Syria.

His organisation, Jaish Usro, consisted mostly of Chechen and other North Caucasian terrorists, and was part of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) organisation.

The northern Hama governorate of Syria was the scene of heavy battles on Sunday, after a mass assault of HTS forces on the city of Zallaqiyat was thwarted, and responded to by very intense bombing runs by Russian Aerospace Forces on Al-Qaeda positions near Lataminah and surroundings.

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Historian specialized in Arab history, Islamic studies and geopolitical analysis. Based in Belgium.

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