Al-Nusra Front terrorists
Al-Nusra Front terroristsReuters

Russia claimed on Wednesday it had critically injured the leader of the Tahrir Al-Sham jihadist group in Syria with an air strike on his position that also killed 12 of his field commanders, Reuters reported.

Russia had targeted Abu Mohammed al-Golani in an intelligence-led special operation while he was meeting his field commanders, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The group, however, denied the claim in a statement on its telegram channel. It said Golani was in "good health and exercising the duties assigned to him completely."

"May God help him succeed in his task," the short statement said.

Golani and his men were bombed by two Russian planes on October 3, according to a statement by Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. Golani was badly hurt, the statement said.

"As a result of the strike, the Nusra Front leader, Abu Mohamad al-Golani, sustained numerous shrapnel wounds and, having lost an arm, is in a critical condition, according to information from several independent sources," Konashenkov said.

Al-Nusra Front was the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda before the two groups cut ties last year. Al-Nusra was then rebranded to head the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance.

Around 50 of Golani's bodyguards and 12 Nusra Front field commanders were killed in the same air strike, Konashenkov said, according to Reuters.

Golani, a Syrian national believed to be in his 40s, has been identified by the U.S. as a "specially designated global terrorist" since 2013 and subject to U.S. and international sanctions, including an asset freeze and travel ban.

The State Department said earlier this year it was offering a reward of up to $10 million for information about his whereabouts.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)