Russian general killed fighting Islamic State in east Syria


Division General Valeri Assapov is killed by explosion during shelling by Islamic State militants

Russian soldiers stand guard recently in central street in Syria's eastern city of Deir Ezzor (AFP)
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Last update: 
Monday 25 September 2017 7:32 UTC

A Russian general was killed while battling Islamic State group (IS) militants near the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, Moscow's defence ministry said on Sunday.

"Division general Valeri Assapov was killed when a shell exploded during shelling by IS fighters," the ministry was quoted as saying by local media, adding that the officer was serving as an adviser to Syrian government troops.

The ministry said Assapov would be posthumously decorated for his service.

Deir Ezzor province, on Syria's eastern border with Iraq, is rich with oil and gas fields that served as a key revenue stream for IS at the peak of its power.

Russia intervened in support of the Damascus government in September 2015 and has been assisting government forces in an assault on Deir Ezzor from the west.