Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Conflicting claims on a USA role in deadly mosque airstrike

Conflicting claims on a USA role in deadly mosque airstrike

Dozens of civilians were killed after a mosque in a rebel-held village in northern Syria was targeted by airstrikes that some reports suggest may have been conducted by us forces.

Rescue services on the ground put the death toll at 58 and said it could rise as 200 to 300 people were in the mosque when it was hit.

A USA airstrike in Syria killed "dozens" of Al Qaeda fighters - and may have eliminated some of the terror network's "high value" leaders - but did not directly strike a mosque, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters Friday.

"The mosque is still standing and relatively unscathed", Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said.

The Observatory said the strikes had killed at least 49 people and wounded dozens, mostly civilians who were attending a prayer and religious lesson at the center.

The village, in Atarib District, is rebel held, but that doesn't necessarily narrow it down all that much as to who was attacking.

But Bilal Abdul Kareem, a New York-born filmmaker covering the Syrian war, claimed the mosque was actually part of the same complex US targeted.

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The observatory said it wasn't known which side launched the attack.

"It happened to be across the street from where there is a mosque", said Major Josh Jacques, a CENTCOM spokesperson, adding that the mosque was not hit directly. The bombing occurred during prayer time.

More than 320,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of its six-year civil war.

A cessation of hostilities was brokered by rebel backer Turkey and regime ally Russian Federation in December, but violence has continued across much of the country. Residents said that they had been warned that jets from the US-led...

The Syrian and Russian military have carried out many air raids in Idlib and Aleppo provinces during the war.

"We are going to look into any allegations of civilian casualties in relation to this strike", he said.

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 United Nations mandate.

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