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40+ Killed in US Airstrikes on Mosque in NW Syria

40+ Killed in US Airstrikes on Mosque in NW Syria
March 17
08:27 2017

UPDATE 1500 GMT: Journalist Thomas Gibbons-Neff reports, from an American official, that the US strike involved multiple missiles, followed by a large bomb:


More than 40 people were killed by US airstrikes on a mosque in an opposition-held village in Aleppo Province in northwest Syria on Thursday.

The warplanes struck al-Jina, southwest of the town of Atarib near Aleppo, as worshippers were at evening prayer. Some accounts put the death toll at 75, among the estimated 300 people in the al-Khattab mosque.

Asked about the attack, the American military said it carried out an airstrike against “Al Qa’eda in Syria meeting location, killing several terrorists”, in Idlib Province. The statement did not mention civilian casualties.

Airwars, which monitors airstrikes across Syria and Iraq, said a US military official later told the site that the bombing was actually in the vicnity of al-Jina village, a few kilometers inside western Aleppo Province from the border with Idlib.

US Central Command spokesperson Major Josh Jacques said the target was “assessed to be a meeting place for al Qaeda, and we took the strike. It happened to be across the street from where there is a mosque.”

He said the mosque was not the target, and that it was not hit directly. CENTCOM and the Pentagon told Airwars that they were further investigating the attack.

Journalists have emphasized that the mosque compound suffered a direct strike:

A photograph of the scene shows the remnants of a US-made 52-kg (108-lb) missile:

The US has targeted the jihadist Jabhat al-Nusra, now part of the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham bloc, since Washington began airstrikes in Syria in September 2014. The Americans have expanded the attacks in recent months, also hitting members of other factions.

Thursday’s toll would be the second-largest from an American strike in Syria. On January 19, more than 100 fighters from Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Nusra) and an allied group were killed in an attack on a camp in Idlib Province.

TOP PHOTO: Men look for survivors in rubble of the al-Jina mosque

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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21 Comments

  1. Barleybill
    Barleybill March 17, 10:29

    The Yanks are becoming as bad as Assad and the Ruskies. I only hope that the RAF was not involved in this crime.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Barbar
    Barbar March 17, 11:45

    There’s no way the 10kg warhead in a 52kg HF-missile can cause that massive hole in the ground and flatten a large building across the road. The damage looks more like the result of 430kg of HE, namely from a Yanki JDAM-2000lb bomb or similar. Possibly the light missile was immediately followed by a much larger ‘mopping-up’ munition, appearing almost as one explosion.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Bs As
    Bs As March 17, 13:35

    Seems like the yanks (some of them) are invoking another 9/11.

    Reply to this comment
    • matt
      matt March 17, 17:30

      yeah, the yanks are really trembling in thier boots at the fearsome jihiadis

      Reply to this comment
      • Ahmed
        Ahmed March 17, 21:02

        Yes the Yankees mercenarries will know how powerful the Jihadists are if they face them head on like men. But the yankee mercenarries don’t have balls to face the mighty Mujahideen’s and attack civilians from thousands of feet from above.

        The yankee mercenarries know the mighty Mujahideen’s power in Afghanistan already where they are (and will not) unable to defeat the holy warriors from more than 15 years with their “so” called military might.

        Reply to this comment
    • matt
      matt March 17, 17:35

      oh yeah, and stop using mosques as military bases.

      Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis March 17, 21:47

        oh yeah, and stop using mosques as military bases

        Funny how this justification was dismissed as lacking credibility when condemning Russia’s boning of civilian buildings

        Reply to this comment
        • Mikey3d
          Mikey3d March 17, 22:00

          Touche!

          Reply to this comment
        • matt
          matt March 18, 01:05

          big difference between that and what the russians do. The russians methodically destroy civilian structures like schools and hospitals

          Reply to this comment
          • Bs As
            Bs As March 18, 01:15

            “yeah, the yanks are really trembling in thier boots at the fearsome jihiadis”

            In fact, yes. US´s troops hardly dare to face its sworn enemy.

            Reply to this comment
          • Mikey3d
            Mikey3d March 18, 03:05

            @matt
            I do believe andre was agreeing with you about Russian tactics of hitting hospitals, mosques, and schools if they are C3 nodes for jihadis. Am I correct Andre? Russian military doctrine is to attack where ever you find the enemy.

            Reply to this comment
  4. Barleybill
    Barleybill March 17, 18:23

    Trump is obviously carrying out Putin’s orders!
    .
    Again the conflict twists and turns and again my expectations are wrong. I thought that there could not possibly be a president that was worse than Obama. I just wonder what Trump will do when Putin orders him to bomb the FSA?

    Reply to this comment
  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 17, 20:08

    damn blood thirsty yangkess..they really need a war.

    Reply to this comment
    • Mikey3d
      Mikey3d March 17, 20:53

      Paraphrasing Eli Weisel: “When someone says they want to kill you, believe them.”

      Reply to this comment
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous March 18, 01:38

        damn wiesel dude..u want to justified the killing of the innocent civilians while they are worshiping their god…

        Reply to this comment
  6. Mikey3d
    Mikey3d March 18, 02:50

    No one cares, not even the UN. The US and Russia are on the same page in Syria. It is written, enshallah.

    Reply to this comment

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