The Pentagon on Friday denied accusations by a Syrian rebel group that the United States had targeted a mosque in Syria and, in a rare move, showed an aerial image to illustrate the mosque was intact and the building destroyed was in fact across the street.
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis, addressing a Pentagon news conference, said he believed dozens of al Qaeda fighters were killed in the Thursday strike by manned and unmanned U.S. aircraft on an al Qaeda meeting place in the village of al-Jina, Aleppo.
Davis said the U.S. military had not yet seen any credible allegations of civilian casualties, including on social media.
“The strike targeted a building in al-Jinah, Syria, a town approximately 28 km southwest of the city of Aleppo, and within the province of Aleppo,” Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesman for CENTCOM, told The Huffington Post. “This is relatively close to the border between Idlib province and Aleppo province.”
Jacques added that the building targeted was across the street from the mosque in question.
The Pentagon said it would soon release 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.
Next to the charred plot where the al Qaeda militants had met was another building, which was also still intact.
“We struck a meeting of senior al Qaeda terrorists. Some of these were likely high value individuals. We’re currently assessing that,” Davis said.
Davis was unable to say what the purpose was of the building that was destroyed, beyond serving as a meeting place for al Qaeda.