10:57, 14 July 2020
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US insists al-Jinah raid targeted al-Qaeda, not mosque

The US has denied hitting a mosque in Syria where activists say dozens

of people, mostly civilians, were killed. The Pentagon said the US targeted an "al-Qaeda gathering across the street from a mosque", and released footage showing that a mosque next to a destroyed building remained standing. It said the photo was taken less than five minutes after the strike on Thursday. Syrian opposition activists said at least 40 people were killed in the Omar Ibn al-Khattab Mosque in al-Jinah village in Aleppo province. They accused the US of carrying out the raid. Friday prayers were cancelled across rebel-held parts of northern Syria after the raid. Bahaa al-Halaby, an Aleppo-based opposition activist based, said the air raid hit as about 250 people had gathered at the mosque for prayers or to attend a religious lesson. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the air strike on the mosque killed 46 while the Local Coordination Committees, another monitoring group, said 40 were killed. Resident Abu Muhammed told the AFP news agency that he "heard powerful explosions when the mosque was hit. It was right after prayers at a time when there are usually religious lessons for men in it.