Air strike on mosque near Aleppo in Syria kills 42: monitor

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air strike on mosque in syria.image courtesy:South China Morning Post

Warplanes struck a mosque in the rebel-held village of al-Jina, southwest of Atarib near Aleppo in Syria, killing at least 42 people and wounding dozens, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said on Thursday.

“The raids by unidentified warplanes targeted a mosque in Aleppo province during evening prayers, killing 42 people, most of them civilians,” said the head of the Britain-based Observatory Rami Abdel Rahman.

“More than 100 people were wounded,” he said, adding that many were still trapped under the collapsed mosque in the village of Al-Jineh, just over 30 kilometres (20 miles) west of Aleppo.

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The area is located in one of the main rebel-held parts of Syria, the north-west that includes Idlib province and the western parts of Aleppo province, and its population has been swollen by refugees, UN agencies have said.

The US military said it carried out an air strike 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.

Rebels in north-west Syria fighting to oust President Bashar al Assad also include groups supported by Turkey, the United States and Gulf monarchies.

The Syrian and Russian military have carried out many air strikes in Idlib and Aleppo provinces during the war. The United States has also carried out strikes there in recent months, targeting a jihadist rebel group that until last year was a formal affiliate of al Qaeda.

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The US-led coalition, meanwhile, has been bombing jihadist groups in Syria since 2014.