Pentagon Says US Hit Al Qaeda Leaders in Syria, Not Civilians

The Pentagon on Friday pushed back on reports that dozens of civilians were killed in a March 16 airstrike in Syria, releasing a photo it says shows a mosque is still standing despite reports it was destroyed by US bombs. US manned and unmanned aircraft conducted a large strike on a building in Al Jinnah, Syria, where strong intelligence showed dozens of al Qaeda leaders were meeting. The US is still assessing the results of the strike, but “we believe we killed dozens” of al Qaeda members, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Friday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Friday said 46 people, the majority civilians, were killed in the airstrike. Videos posted to social media websites allege the building hit was the main mosque, which was full during evening prayers. The photo released by the Pentagon was taken from a reconnaissance aircraft and shows the mosque still standing to the west of the building that was hit, said Davis. The US, so far, does not have any credible reports of civilian casualties, Davis said.