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WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US military said Thursday it carried out a deadly air strike on an Al-Qaeda meeting in northern Syria and would investigate reports that more than 40 civilians were killed when a mosque was struck in the raid.
At least 42 people were killed and dozens more wounded when air strikes struck the mosque, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“The raids by unidentified warplanes targeted a mosque in Aleppo province during evening prayers, killing 42 people, most of them civilians,” said the head of the Britain-based Observatory Rami Abdel Rahman.
“More than 100 people were wounded,” he said, adding that many were still trapped under the collapsed mosque in the village of Al-Jineh, just over 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of Aleppo.
The village is held by rebel and Islamist groups, but no jihadist factions are present.
“We did not target a mosque, but the building that we did target – which was where the meeting took place – is about 50 feet (15 meters) from a mosque that is still standing,” said Colonel John J. Thomas, spokesman for US Central Command.