Rescuers Work at Site of Mosque Airstrike in Aleppo Countryside

Mar 18, 2017, 01:01
Rescuers Work at Site of Mosque Airstrike in Aleppo Countryside

The airstrike killed "several terrorists", the United States military said in a statement Thursday.

The US military has said it conducted airstrikes in a northern Syria location where local reports say a mosque was struck and more than 40 people died, but the military denies it bombed a place of worship.

The official added that the number of casualties being reported at the mosque correlates roughly with US assessments of the number of al Qaeda fighters they say they killed in the strike.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 46 people were killed, mainly civilians.

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

An AFP correspondent saw rescue workers in white helmets working under spotlights with picks and shovels late on Thursday to dig people out of the rubble.

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"I saw 15 bodies and lots of body parts in the debris when I arrived".

"Unlike some of our opponents, we are not going to blame them for "intentional" killing of civilians and destruction of infrastructure," she noted, adding that there is still a need to understand what really happened in Al-Jinah.

Footage published by Halab Today, an online media group focused on news in Aleppo, showed piles of rubble where the mosque stood. According to a monitor group, as many as 320,000 people have been killed during the war.

The observatory said it was unable to determine whose planes carried out the raid.

In the past, the Syrian and Russian military have carried out air strikes in Idlib and Aleppo provinces during the six-year civil war. "It leaves no chance for the US-led coalition to remain silent as usual and for diplomats to spout anti-Russian rhetoric", Major-General Igor Konashenkov said Friday.

"Relying on local armed groups for targeting intelligence in populated areas requires the U.S.to take additional measures to vet information to reduce risk to civilians", he said. Critics say the real number is much higher.