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Footage Challenges Pentagon’s Claim Syria Mosque Untouched by US Strike
Local Editor

While the US admitted targeting terrorists inside a "community meeting hall" in Syria, it firmly denies striking the adjacent mosque building. Footage of the devastation at the site of the deadly airstrike, however, seems to contradict that claim.

Footage Challenge Pentagon's Claim Syria Mosque Untouched by US Strike

An overnight air raid on Thursday destroyed a mosque filled with worshippers in the village of Al-Jinah at the provincial Idlib-Aleppo border, reportedly killing dozens.

Shortly following the strike - which happened in a militant-controlled area and thus initially blamed on either Moscow or Damascus - a purported fragment of US missile was found in the rubble. Once the dust settled, militant groups once supported by Washington, accused the US of conducting the strike.

Commenting on the deadly incident the Pentagon denied intentionally targeting the mosque itself. Instead, the Pentagon said its jets and drones killed dozens of fighters inside an adjacent al-Qaeda meeting hall, some 50 feet away from the worship place.

The US military is investigating and is yet to see any credible proof of civilian casualties inside the mosque which, according to Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis, remained "relatively unscathed" following the strike.

"I wanted to draw your attention to it, because I think there are a lot of reports suggesting that we had targeted a mosque," Davis said Friday. "We did not. Of course, you know we never would."

"The mosque is still standing and relatively unscathed," Davis said, according to AFP. "The building we targeted was adjacent" and the strike "clearly hit the intended target."

In response to RT's request for comment, US Central Command also insisted they targeted terrorist gathering "across the street from a mosque," not the prayer hall itself.

"We did not target, nor did we strike a mosque," CENTCOM Media Operations Chief Maj. Josh T. Jacques said. "The mosque does not appear to be damaged following the strike."

To back up their claim the Pentagon released a black and white aerial image showing a building still standing across the street from a compound that had been targeted.

The Pentagon's version also contradicts the video and witness accounts from the scene. Footage from the scene provided by the pro-opposition Qasioun News shows the aftermath and the destruction of the Al-Jinah mosque.

Other videos widely available online also show wide-scale destruction from the strike, although is impossible to definitely verify footage coming from the rebel-controlled area.

Besides an ample amount of video evidence available online for the US to verify, extremists who at some point were supported by the US are now demanding answers from Washington.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

18-03-2017 | 11:14


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