Pentagon denies striking Syrian mosque, killing civilians

March 17, 2017 10:30 pm

Syrian civil defense volunteers, known as the White Helmets, dig through the rubble of a mosque following a airstrike in the village of Al-Jineh in Aleppo province on March 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The has claimed that a US airstrike in northern Syria has not struck a mosque, but rather a nearby building.
According to reports, at least 42 Syrian civilians lost their lives when US warplanes bombed a mosque full of worshipers on Thursday night during evening prayers in a village west of Aleppo.
The Pentagon however asserted on Friday that the airstrike targeted “dozens” of Al-Qaeda militants in a building near the mosque, and it showed reporters what it claimed was an image captured following the attack.

This is the image released by the Pentagon on March 17, 2017 of the site it said US warplanes hit on March 16, 2017.

“The mosque is still standing and relatively unscathed,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis claimed.
“The building we targeted was adjacent” and the strike “clearly hit the intended target,” he added.
However, Abu Muhammed, a village resident, told the AFP agency that he “heard powerful explosions when the mosque was hit.”
“It was right after the prayer at a time when there is usually religious lessons for men in it,” Muhammed added.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies heavily on a network of spies working for the foreign-backed opposition, the US warplanes had attacked the mosque, killing 42 people, and injuring more than 100 others.
The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be the Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. 
The coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been accused of being largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.
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