Dozens killed as airstrike hits Syrian mosque
U.S. confirms an airstrike in area, but says it was targeting al-Qaeda operatives
Warplanes struck a mosque in the rebel-held village of al-Jina, in northwest Syria, killing at least 42 people and wounding dozens, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said on Thursday.
The jets struck the village, southwest of Atarib near Aleppo, as the mosque was full of worshippers at evening prayer, said the Observatory, which monitors the Syrian war via a network of contacts across the country.
The U.S. military said it carried out an airstrike on Thursday against al-Qaeda militants, killing several, at a meeting location in Idlib province, but it was unclear if it was referring to the attack on Al-Jina.
The statement from U.S. Central Command made no mention of civilian casualties.
Syrian and Russian military have also carried out many airstrikes in Idlib and Aleppo provinces during the war.
Al-Jina is located in one of the main rebel-held parts of Syria, the northwest that includes Idlib province and the western parts of Aleppo province, and its population has been swollen by refugees, UN agencies have said.
The airstrike on the mosque came a day after suicide attacks in the capital, Damascus, killed at least 30 people on the sixth anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict.
Rebels in northwest Syria fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad also include groups supported by Turkey, the United States and Gulf monarchies.
The civil war has killed about 400,000 people, wounded more than a million and displaced half the country's population.
With files from The Associated Press