Lieutenant General Valery Asapov, of the Russian armed forces, has been killed in shelling from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants near Deir ez-Zor in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced.
Lt. Gen. Asapov is the commander of the 5th Combined Arms Army. According to initial unconfirmed reports, his interpreter and 2 Army colonels were also killed in the mortar fire.
In its statement, the ministry said that Asapov was at a command outpost manned by Syrian troops, assisting commanders in the liberation of the city of Deir ez-Zor. Asapov has been described as one of the senior Russian military advisers in Syria.
“As a result of a sudden mortar shelling by IS militants, Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov was fatally wounded by an exploding shell,” the MoD said.
In recognition of his services, Lieutenant-General Asapov is to be presented with a state decoration posthumously.