USA military confirms Idlib bombing; denies mosque was hit

People fleeing rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo

The group's second-in-command, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, was killed in an air strike on his vehicle late February, and the USA said that a separate bombing raid on an al-Qaeda training camp in January killed more than 100 militants.

He added that more than 100 people were injured, with many still trapped in the rubble of the collapsed mosque in the village of Al-Jineh, about 30 kilometers west of Aleppo.

The mosque was located in the rebel-held village of al-Jinnah in Idlib province.

So far, the United States military under both the current and former administration has struggled to quickly acknowledge possible civilian deaths, often doing so only after local residents on the ground produce photos and names. Earlier this month, the coalition said at least 220 civilians had been unintentionally killed in its air raids since 2014, but critics maintain the real number is much higher.

On Thursday the USA government confirmed that it carried out an airstrike in Syria which, according to AFP, struck a mosque killing 46 civilians.

He said al-Qa'ida had been using the building as a meeting place, but he said he did not know if the building had at some point been associated with the mosque next door.

The Pentagon released to the public the image it showed to reporters: a black and white aerial image showing the mosque still standing across the street from a building that had been reduced to rubble by the strike.

Iraqi prime minister joins Trump for meeting focusing on IS
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House, March 20, 2017.

The Pentagon on Friday said it targeted an al-Qaeda meeting in northern Syria, but denied hitting a nearby mosque as claimed by a rebel group and monitor.

It's now unclear who carried out the airstrike, though local reports allege USA involvement.

A powerful Syrian opposition group and other opposition activists blamed the US -led coalition for the airstrike.

It is not yet clear who is responsible for the recent airstrikes, however Russian and Syrian aircraft are known to operate in the opposition-held region.

Last week, US Central Command said it had concluded between four and 12 civilians had been killed, including two children. "Again, this was a meeting place for al-Qaeda leaders and fighters".

Davis also said that the targeted area has been a significant safe haven for the Islamist militant group since it re-established a Shura Council in Syria in 2016.

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