U.S. military officials have confirmed that a U.S. aircraft struck a mosque outside of Aleppo, Syria during evening prayers on Thursday, killing dozens of civilians, in an attack that many are calling a war crime.
Airwars’ Samuel Oakford reported that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed that a raid “took place in the vicinity of al-Jinah village, which is located in western Aleppo governorate, just a few kilometers from the border with Idlib. CENTCOM spokesperson Maj. Josh Jacques said the target was ‘assessed to be a meeting place for al Qaeda, and we took the strike.'”
Jacques added that the target “happened to be across the street from where there is a mosque.”
And Washington Post staff writer Thomas Gibbons-Neff reported:
The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 42 people were killed and dozens wounded. Local activists told Al Jazeera that “the mosque was full of worshippers,” with an estimated 300 people “inside at the time of the air raids.”
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Observatory, told the DPA news agency that most of those killed were civilians and that he fears “the number of casualties will increase” once rescuers are able to dig through the rubble.
Making no mention of civilian casualties, CENTCOM claimed the strike in Idlib “killed several al-Qaeda fighters,” according to Al Jazeera.
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