US Airstike Hits Syrian Mosque Killing Dozens

While rescuers continue to search rubble for civilian victims, the attack has been widely condemned as war crime.
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    Ppeople try to rescue survivors trapped under the debris of a Mosque after an aerial attack during prayer in the Cina village of Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria on March 16, 2017. (Photo: İbrahim Ebu Leys/ Anadolu Agency )

    Ppeople try to rescue survivors trapped under the debris of a Mosque after an aerial attack during prayer in the Cina village of Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria on March 16, 2017. (Photo: İbrahim Ebu Leys/ Anadolu Agency )

    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.

    The death toll “appears to be at least the second largest ever from U.S. strikes aimed at alleged al-Qeada targets in Syria,” according to Oakford, as the intractable war against terror “enters its 16th year and third presidency, with no end in sight to the carnage,” as journalist Glenn Greenwald observed.

    Reporting the reaction and how the strike might impact the fight against al-Qaeda in Syria, Charles Lister, a senior fellow with the Middle East Institute, wrote Thursday:

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus also condemned the attack as a war crime, telling reporters Friday: “This is a crime against humanity, this is a war crime. Bombing civilians, people in the mosque, and a house of worship is unacceptable.”

    Article 53 of the Geneva Convention prohibits attacks on cultural objects and places of worship. Airwars confirmed that CENTCOM and the Pentagon are further investigating the attack.

    The strike comes as U.S. President Donald Trump has taken steps to loosen constraints on military engagement, including lowering the standard for what defines an “acceptable” civilian casualty, as Common Dreams reported.

    This work by --- is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.This work by Common Dreams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.


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    • Michael Valentine

      Providing the motivation for a retaliatory attack. Often these motivated retaliatory attacks are reported in the news as isolated “terrorist attacks” without any reference to what motivated the attack.

    • And nowhere to be seen, at the scene, are any of those heroic opportunist “White (ISIS) Hats”.

      Hmmm. No surprise there…

    • tapatio

      THIS IS WHAT THE MAJORITY OF JUDAISM (and James Wherry of course) SUPPORTS….



    • James Wherry

      A mosque is a “protected place” under the Geneva Conventions, but a protected place loses its status as “protected,” if it is used for military purposes.

      More information, please.

    • Lie_Buster

      Even if one can say the USA was legitimately targeting alleged criminals, it is insanely criminal to recklessly and purposely slaughter innocent people in the process. If you or me made such a “mistake,” we’d never see the outside of a jail for the rest of our days. No way we could plead “honest mistake.”

      • James Wherry

        So, you want “the perfect war.”

        Do you think that civilians did not die during WWII? Compared to our current standards, our carpet bombing in NAZ! Germany was barbaric.

        Can a terrorists plan, plot and direct terrorist attacks from Yemen with impunity, if he surrounded himself with his own civilian family members as human shields?

        Shall we let Hamas fire rockets from hospitals and schools and not try and stop them?

        If you have no answers to these questions, do not run for public office – please.

        • Lie_Buster

          You really think I’m dumb enough to argue with an analphabetic? Spare me.

          • James Wherry

            No: I do not think that you are capable enough to construct a logical argument to support your absurd position.

            You can be a pacifist and conscientious object or if you want to, but human beings have overwhelmingly rejected that position.

            • Lie_Buster

              heheheheheh ….hahahahahhaha (Khazarian Mafia pretending to know something) Hahahahahaha

      • Marybcarrera

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    • tapatio
    • Mike

      Wasn’t this strike actually targeting ISIL?

      • tapatio

        Doesn’t make a F’ing bit of difference who they CLAIM they were attacking. Fact is that the UNITED STATES, IN VIOLATION OF SYRIAN AIR SPACE, ATTACKED A MOSQUE COMPOUND AND MURDERED DOZENS OF CIVILIANS.

        • Mike

          My sources are telling me that the targets were Turkistan Islamic party made up of anti Assad Uygher mercenaries from China and that the location was across the street from a mosque. Mintpress should not be reposting things from commondreams, an establishment democrat site that only serves as controlled opposition for the US Empire.

          • tapatio

            As I said – it makes NO difference who they CLAIM to have been targeting. It was a violation of several international laws/treaties and a WAR CRIME.

            No story/excuse/LIE from Washington is relevant.

          • James Wherry

            Even if the terrorists were inside the mosque, a “protected place” loses its protected status, if it is used for military activities.

            That’s simply international law.

      • James Wherry

        The anonymous poster “tapatio” pretends he opposes Jihadists, but then when America attacks al-Quaeda or ISIL – which he claims that America supports – he has a meltdown.

        “tapatio” also pees himself, when we work with AMISOM in Somalia to stop al-Shebaab or conduct training with West African nations to go after Biko Harem. He accuses us of “imperialism” and helping “corporations” by stopping Boko Harem from kidnapping and raping children.

        Despite his fake claims to be a US veteran, he gleefully calls for the murder of US servicemen.

        In actuality, “tapatio” is an avowed Jew-hating, gay-bashing NAZ! Who is still angry that America took down his beloved Third Reich after WWII.

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