Pentagon denies striking mosque in Syria, says it killed al Qaeda militants

Pentagon denies striking mosque in Syria, says it killed al Qaeda militants


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WASHINGTON: The Pentagon on Friday denied accusations by a Syrian insurgent group that america had focused a mosque in Syria and, in a uncommon transfer, confirmed an aerial picture as an example the mosque was intact and the constructing destroyed was in truth throughout the road.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis, addressing a Pentagon information convention, stated he believed dozens of al Qaeda fighters have been killed within the Thursday strike by manned and unmanned U.S. plane on an al Qaeda assembly place within the village of al-Jina, Aleppo.

Davis stated the U.S. army had not but seen any credible allegations of civilian casualties, together with on social media.

The Pentagon launched to the general public the picture it confirmed to reporters: a black and white aerial picture displaying the mosque nonetheless standing throughout the road from a constructing that had been decreased to rubble by the strike.

Subsequent to the charred plot the place the al Qaeda militants had met was one other constructing, which was additionally nonetheless intact.

"We struck a gathering of senior al Qaeda terrorists, a few of these have been probably excessive worth people, we're at present assessing that," Davis stated.

However the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based warfare monitoring group, stated each buildings collectively make up the mosque.

The air strikes hit the mosque complicated, which consists of a middle belonging to an Islamist group and a close-by prayer space, destroying the spiritual middle, it stated.

The Observatory stated the strikes had killed at the least 49 individuals and wounded dozens, principally civilians who have been attending a prayer and non secular lesson on the middle.

In a press release following the brand new convention, the Pentagon stated intelligence indicated that the constructing that was struck was a "partially constructed group assembly corridor" that was utilized by al Qaeda leaders "as a spot to teach and indoctrinate" militants.

The assertion stated surveillance confirmed that the strike occurred after night prayers had completed.

It added that the picture proven to reporters was taken much less 5 minutes after the strike.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm whether or not the mosque might have suffered any structural injury that might be troublesome to see from an aerial picture.

Ahrar al-Sham, a strong Syrian insurgent group, on Friday stated the U.S.-led coalition towards Islamic State was behind a lethal mosque assault close to Syria's Aleppo that a struggle monitor stated killed dozens of individuals.

The Observatory stated jets hit round a mosque in al-Jina village close to Atarib within the western a part of Aleppo province, a number of miles (km) from Idlib province on Thursday.

America has been main a coalition in an air marketing campaign towards Islamic State whereas additionally finishing up air strikes towards al Qaeda in Syria, which it says sought to reap the benefits of the chaos from Syria's civil conflict to reconstitute itself in ungoverned cities.

Syrian army and Russian jets have additionally carried out quite a few air strikes towards targets in Idlib and western elements of Aleppo province, that are held by rebels looking for to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

There are considerations about an elevated danger of civilian casualties as U.S. President Donald Trump considers choices to speed up the battle towards Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

In accordance with the U.S. army, 220 civilians killed have been killed because the begin of the air marketing campaign towards Islamic State in 2014, however that estimate is way decrease than these offered by monitoring teams.