Up To 42 Reported Dead In Air Strike On Syrian Mosque
The US military says it carried out an airstrike in northern Syria against an al-Qaeda target, but denies deliberately targeting a mosque where at least 42 people were killed according to an independent monitor.
Al-Jinnah is located in the country's northwest - a region that includes Idlib province and the western parts of Aleppo province.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis, addressing a Pentagon news conference, said he believed dozens of al Qaeda fighters were killed in the Thursday strike by manned and unmanned USA aircraft on an al Qaeda meeting place in the village of al-Jina, Aleppo. A journalist for the monitoring project Airwars said that CENTCOM officials had confirmed the strike was carried out by USA forces.
The Observatory said the airstrike on the mosque in Jeeneh killed 46 while the Local Coordination Committees, another monitoring group, said 40 were killed. He showed a photo of the bombed-out building to Pentagon reporters and added that the Pentagon was still assessing the damage from Thursday's strike.
A Syrian Civil Defense officials said his organization believes the bombing was carried out by Russian Federation.
But Bilal Abdul Kareem, a New York-born filmmaker covering the Syrian war, claimed the mosque was actually part of the same complex USA targeted.
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The village is held by rebel and Islamist groups, but no jihadist factions are present.
"What we did target was destroyed".
"It happened to be across the street from where there is a mosque", said Jacques, specifying that the mosque was not the target and that it wasn't hit directly. "It was right after the prayer at a time when there is usually religious lessons for men in it".
Since then, more than 320,000 people have been killed and 11 million displaced in the conflict, according to activists.
Also, during the final hours of the Obama presidency, a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber killed more than 100 Al Qaeda fighters in Syria.
Syrian and Russian military have also carried out many air strikes in Idlib and Aleppo provinces during the war.
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