Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

Civil defense team members and people try to rescue people who were trapped under the debris of a Mosque after an aerial attack on a mosque during prayer in the Cina village of Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria on March 16, 2017. (Photo: İbrahim Ebu Leys/ Anadolu Agency )

Civil defense team members and people try to rescue people who were trapped under the debris of a Mosque after an aerial attack on a mosque during prayer in the Cina village of Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria on March 16, 2017.  (Photo: İbrahim Ebu Leys/ Anadolu Agency )

US Military Bombs Syrian Mosque During Evening Prayers, Killing Dozens

While rescuers continue to search rubble for civilian victims, attack widely condemned as war crime

Lauren McCauley

U.S. military officials have confirmed that a U.S. aircraft struck a mosque outside of Aleppo, Syria during evening prayers on Thursday, killing dozens of civilians, in an attack that many are calling a war crime.

Airwars' Samuel Oakford reported that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed that a raid "took place in the vicinity of al-Jinah village, which is located in western Aleppo governorate, just a few kilometers from the border with Idlib. CENTCOM spokesperson Maj. Josh Jacques said the target was 'assessed to be a meeting place for al Qaeda, and we took the strike.'"

Jacques added that the target "happened to be across the street from where there is a mosque."

And Washington Post staff writer Thomas Gibbons-Neff reported:

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 42 people were killed and dozens wounded. Local activists told Al Jazeera that "the mosque was full of worshippers," with an estimated 300 people "inside at the time of the air raids."

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Observatory, told the DPA news agency that most of those killed were civilians and that he fears "the number of casualties will increase" once rescuers are able to dig through the rubble.

Making no mention of civilian casualties, CENTCOM claimed the strike in Idlib "killed several al-Qaeda fighters," according to Al Jazeera.

The death toll "appears to be at least the second largest ever from U.S. strikes aimed at alleged al-Qeada targets in Syria," according to Oakford, as the intractable war against terror "enters its 16th year and third presidency, with no end in sight to the carnage," as journalist Glenn Greenwald observed.

Reporting the reaction and how the strike might impact the fight against al-Qaeda in Syria, Charles Lister, a senior fellow with the Middle East Institute, wrote Thursday:

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus also condemned the attack as a war crime, telling reporters Friday: "This is a crime against humanity, this is a war crime. Bombing civilians, people in the mosque, and a house of worship is unacceptable."

Article 53 of the Geneva Convention prohibits attacks on cultural objects and places of worship. Airwars confirmed that CENTCOM and the Pentagon are further investigating the attack.

The strike comes as U.S. President Donald Trump has taken steps to loosen constraints on military engagement, including lowering the standard for what defines an "acceptable" civilian casualty, as Common Dreams reported.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves 'Rigged' Voting Maps

"We must protect our democracy with federal legislation immediately and defeat these cynical politicians at the ballot box."

Jessica Corbett ·


'An Act of Cowardice': 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation "a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work."

Brett Wilkins ·


The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

"Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target."

Andrea Germanos ·


Progressives Vow to 'Push Very Hard' to Keep Agenda From Being Gutted Beyond Recognition

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said House Democrats "are fighting to tackle the climate crisis, expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing, and guarantee family leave in America."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo