The Russian Ministry of Defense has announced that Major General Vyachelsav Gladich had been killed today in an IED attack in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor Govenorate. The announcement comes after several Telegram channels with sources in the Russian military reported that he had died earlier today.
According to a statement released to the TASS, RIA Novosti and Interfax news agencies, the major general was part of a convoy that was returning from a humanitarian operation near the city of Deir ez-Zor when the convoy struck the IED. Two other Russian service members were also injured in the explosion. The three service members were medically evacuated, but the major general, referred to as a “senior military advisor with the rank of major general”, succumbed to his injuries during the evacuation process.
Local news site DeirEzzor24 reports that the National Defense Forces commander of the town of Mayadin, Mohammed Tayseer al-Zahir, and five other NDF members were killed as well, with several other NDF militiamen injured. A different chronology of events is provided by DeirEzzor24, with a Russian-NDF group searching for a group of six NDF militiamen that had gone missing in the badia (desert) around Mayadin the day before.
The major general is not the first Russian general rank officer to be killed in action in Syria; Lieutenant General Valery Asapov was killed in September 2017 by ISIS mortar fire near Deir ez-Zor, during the Syrian regime’s campaign to break the ISIS siege of the city.
Despite the territorial defeat of ISIS, Syrian regime forces have been unable to secure the badia, allowing ISIS to mount a persistent insurgency against Syrian regime forces in the area. ISIS had very recently released photographs of an ATGM attack on a Syrian Arab Army T-62 tank in a base near Mayadin, as well as a raid on a Liwa al-Quds militia post in Mayadin that resulted in the death of at least 5 militiamen and the looting of the post. While ISIS has yet to officially claim responsibility for this latest attack, their heightened activity in the area as of late makes it all but certain that the IED was theirs.