DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:50 A.M.) – On Friday evening, Al-Masdar News was informed that the Islamic State had lost one its top military commanders in Syria due to a pinpoint Russian airstrike in eastern Homs.
Abu Ayoub Al-Shishani, not to be confused with the late Abu Omar Al-Shishani, was killed by a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 bomber jet during the Islamic State’s large-scale withdrawal from central Homs on Thursday.
Abu Ayoub Al-Shishani, a man of Chechen origin who also fought the Russian Army back home, drew up the military plans for the first ISIS assault on Palmyra back in March 2016 which led to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) retreating from the ancient city at the time.
The now deceased ISIS commander was also involved in a number of battles in neighboring Iraq, specializing in desert warfare around the provinces of Anbar and Nineveh.
His death represents a major blow to the caliphate’s forces which must now find a replacement if they are to fend off an expected eastern SAA thrust from Palmyra, ultimately looking to relieve the besieged city and airport of Deir Ezzor.
Russian and Syrian warplanes have played an instrumental role in driving back ISIS from the Syrian desert. A rare video emerged on Friday showing airstrikes pounding a large Islamic State convoy which tried to retreat from the region without success.