Russia says airstrike kill 4 IS leaders in Syria

Russia's Ministry of Defense says it has killed four Islamic State group leaders in an airstrike outside the eastern Syria city of Deir el-Zour.

Russian news agencies on Friday quoted a defense ministry statement as saying its intelligence showed the airstrike killed 40 militants. Among them, according to the reports, were militant leaders Abu Muhammad al-Shimali and Gulmurod Khalimov.

Al-Shimaali reportedly headed the movement of foreign fighters into Syria and processed the group's new recruits.

Heavy clashes are taking place between Syrian government forces and the Islamic State group around the city as militants fight back to reinstate a years-long siege of the city.

President Bashar Assad's troops on Tuesday broke the nearly three-year militant blockade of parts of the city, marking a significant advance against the extremists.