18:37 GMT04 December 2020
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    The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed an airstrike in the area of Idlib in Syria on Thursday amid reports of mass casualties when a mosque was hit during service.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US military can confirm it conducted an airstrike near Idlib in Syria on Thursday, CENTCOM spokesperson Andy Stephens told Sputnik.

    “We can confirm that we conducted a strike in the area of Idlib earlier today,” Stephens stated. “Due to the recent time of this airstrike, I don't have any additional details. Please understand that we take every precaution to prevent and mitigate civilian casualties, so we take every allegation seriously.”

    In a separate statement issued later, CENTCOM said that the strike killed "several terrorists," pointing to the fact that Idlib has become "a significant safe haven for Al Qaeda" recently.

    Earlier in the day, Haaretz reported citing Syrian activists that at least 35 people were killed in a rebel-held area as a result of an airstrike that hit a mosque. The London-based monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put a death toll at 42, stressing that most of those killed were civilians.

    The US-led coalition of 68 nations is conducting airstrikes, ground-based and rocket-propelled artillery fire against the Daesh in Syria and Iraq. The strikes in Iraq are conducted in support of the Iraqi government, but those in Syria are not authorized by the government of President Bashar Assad or the UN Security Council.

    US-led coalition, airstrike, Idlib, Syria
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