Syria ‘airstrike on village mosque kills 42’

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.

“The mosque is still standing and relatively unscathed”, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis claimed.

The US military said it purposely avoided the small mosque.

Syria’s civil war has left hundreds of thousands of civilians, military and insurgents dead since 2011.

“We targeted an al-Qaeda gathering across the street from a mosque”. The Pentagon said 10 al Qaeda operatives were killed near Idlib in February.

However, Abu Muhammed, a village resident, told the AFP news agency that he “heard powerful explosions when the mosque was hit”.

The air strikes hit the mosque complex, which consists of a center belonging to an Islamist organization and a nearby prayer area, destroying the religious center, it said. “The bodies were maimed … burns on the faces and the limbs”.

Video footage from the scene showed rescue workers in white helmets digging people out of the rubble on Thursday night under spotlights.

In the meantime, a medial source in Aleppo reported that more than 90 civilians were injured in the same airstrike.

“It was the mosque that was hit”, media activist Darwish el-Saleh told ABC News.

Al-Jina, just west of Aleppo, is located firmly within rebel territory. “The damage was overwhelming”.

“We found many people lying on the ground”, he said.

“A reporter asked Centcom if they inadvertently targeted a mosque in Aleppo province instead of Idlib and they responded that they would be looking into the reports of civilian casualties”.

According to the investigative journalism website Bellingcat, which specialises in covering conflict and the military, the label nonetheless matches another remnant found in a drone strike that hit Idlib in October 2016 for which the U.S. claimed responsibility. “However, we don’t have any doubts that the USA airstrikes targeted terrorists”, Zakharova said.

Israeli warplanes struck several targets in Syria early Friday, prompting retaliatory missile launches, in the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syrian civil war began six years ago.

“We’re seeing a fresh rise in civilian casualties”, Woods said. “It was a meeting of Al Qaeda leadership that we had been tracking for some time”.

“Perhaps even more noteworthy is that the exact same label on a weapon remnant was found at the site of an alleged drone strike on a high value target (HVT) in Syria’s Idlib province in October 2016”, the Bellingcat report says.

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