- New report says United States did not do its “homework” earlier than airstrikes on civilians
- Syrian studies say mosque hit; US says al Qaeda assembly focused
Syrians mentioned the US airstrikes hit a western Aleppo mosque on March 16, killing at the least 40 worshipers and injuring dozens extra. The US mentioned the bombings focused a gathering corridor internet hosting al Qaeda terrorists.
Interviews with locals and images and video of the constructing in query show it was a widely known mosque that hosted lectures each Thursday between sundown and night prayers, based on a brand new Human Rights Watch report.
Any try to assemble details about the constructing would have revealed that it was a well-liked gathering spot for residents on the time of the meant assault, Human Rights Watch mentioned. Moreover, the investigation discovered no proof to help the US declare that members of al Qaeda or another armed group have been assembly within the mosque, the report mentioned.
“The US appears to have gotten a number of issues basically fallacious on this assault, and dozens of civilians paid the worth,” Ole Solvang, deputy emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, mentioned in a press release. “The US authorities want to determine what went fallacious, begin doing their homework earlier than they launch assaults, and ensure it does not occur once more.”
The US army mentioned in March that an airstrike killed “a number of terrorists” at a gathering location of senior al Qaeda terrorists in Idlib. A US army official confirmed to CNN that American warplanes performed airstrikes within the space. However the official mentioned the strikes hit a constructing 40 to 50 ft from the mosque, and mentioned satellite tv for pc imagery confirmed the mosque nonetheless standing.
However the Human Rights Watch report mentioned the US army misidentified the situation of the assault, and that it was southwest of al-Jinah, not in Idlib.
The assault was documented by UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Syria Civil Protection, higher often known as the White Helmets. Human Rights Watch interviewed a member of the White Helmets who was on the bottom for the report, in addition to 4 individuals who have been within the constructing through the strikes.
Utilizing analysis from open supply investigative group Bellingcat, which analyzed video footage and images from the assault, and Forensic Structure, which created fashions of the mosque and a reconstruction of the assault, Human Rights Watch mentioned it was capable of corroborate claims that the constructing was a mosque.
The areas of two massive craters counsel the primary bomb hit the mosque throughout prayers, sending survivors fleeing earlier than a second blast hit folks outdoors. Others who rushed to the scene to assist additionally have been killed, a witness informed Human Rights Watch.
Photographs of the constructing earlier than the assault present it had cabinets for sneakers and rugs for prayers, suggesting it was a mosque, the report mentioned. Moreover, a photograph taken of the constructing after the assault reveals an indication amid the rubble that reads “Saydina Omar ibn Al-Khattab Mosque.”
The report calls on US authorities to make public findings of an investigation into the strikes, present “ample redress” to civilian victims and their households, and maintain these accountable for the assault accountable.
America has focused al Qaeda fighters in Syria in previous strikes. The Pentagon mentioned 10 al Qaeda operatives have been killed near Idlib in February. A US senior protection official informed CNN an unmanned drone carried out that strike.
US airstrikes have hit civilian services earlier than. In 2015, a US airstrike hit a hospital run by Medical doctors With out Borders in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 42 people.