US claims Syria strike, denies targeting mosque where 46 killed

March 17, 2017 | By | Reply More

The US said it carried out an air strike in Syria against an Al-Qaeda meeting but denied deliberately targeting a mosque where a monitor said on Friday 46 people were killed.

syriaThe Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of the dead in the Thursday evening raid on Al-Jineh, in the northern province of Aleppo, were civilians.

The US-led coalition has been bombing jihadist groups in war-torn Syria since 2014, with hundreds of civilians unintentionally killed in the country and in neighbouring Iraq.

“We did not target a mosque, but the building that we did target — which was where the meeting took place — is about 50 feet (15 metres) from a mosque that is still standing,” said Colonel John J. Thomas, spokesman for US Central Command.

According to a Centcom statement: “US forces conducted an air strike on an Al-Qaeda in Syria meeting location March 16 in Idlib, Syria, killing several terrorists.”

The Centcom spokesman later clarified that the precise location of the strike was unclear — but that it was the same one widely reported to have hit the village mosque in Al-Jineh, in Aleppo province.

“We are going to look into any allegations of civilian casualties in relation to this strike,” he added.

A correspondent saw rescue workers in white helmets working under spotlights with picks and shovels late on Thursday to dig people out of the rubble.

Much of the building, identified by a black placard outside as a mosque, had been flattened.

The empty prayer hall was covered in debris, and rescue workers stepped through it carefully, deliberating how to break down a wall to search for more survivors.

Rescuers had earlier left the wreckage site but were forced to double back when they heard moaning coming from the rubble.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: Arab uprising

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