U.S. airstrike on Al-Jinah mosque

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The strike destroyed the northern half of the new mosque building. This part contained smaller rooms. The large prayer hall in the southern half of the building is intact.
Photo released by Pentagon of the immediate aftermath of the strike.
View to the south.

News

"We struck a meeting of senior al Qaeda terrorists, some of these were likely high value individuals, we're currently assessing that," Davis said.

Reports

The SOHR explains (as seems likely) this was a general mosque complex, but the "religious center" part of it is what was hit. Those killed were "mostly" civilians there fore "prayer and religious lesson," as the report puts it. A Pentagon statement described it as a "partially constructed community meeting hall" that was used by al Qaeda leaders "as a place to educate and indoctrinate" militants." They say there was a Thursday religious meeting, but surveillance suggested it had ended before the strike, and that the surveillance photo they published was taken less than five minutes after the attack ended.

  • Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) seems to have more secondary information here: "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented so far the death of 42 persons,...the warplanes which targeted the mosque is unknown."
  • Al Aan TV reporter Jenan Moussa reports in a series of tweets about her visit to the location and interviews with people on the ground, March 18, 2017

Analysis

Location

The ‘Umar ibn Al-Khaṭṭāb mosque and religious school sits on the Aleppo to Idlib road 1.7 km southwest of al-Jinah and 3 km northeast of Abian Sam'an. The location is in the Idlib Plain, nearer to Idlib than Aleppo, but inside Aleppo Province. There are about 40 houses within a 500 meter radius of the mosque, 15 of these are along the 200 meter stretch of road northeast. Urem al-Kubra, the site of the attack on the SARC aid convoy is on the same road 17 km to the east.

The old mosque on the site is about 10 times 10 meters in size. Construction of a new building started sometime before March 19, 2014. The latest satellite photo on Google Earth from August 26, 2014 shows the complex still unfinished but with some progress.

The size of the building is 30 x 50 meters. Both ends of the building have a cellar level with metal grids on the windows. At the southern end at the cellar level there is a prayer hall sized 30 x 30 meters and a similar sized but unfinished floor above it. The northern end contained a staircase and two meeting rooms sized 15 x 15 meters in each of the two or three floors, (making 4 or 6 rooms total)

The northern part of new building, including the cellar floor was completely destroyed. The southern half with the prayer hall is almost intact. From a technical point the strike was a 100% success, with exactly the rooms targetted destroyed and nothing else.

The latest satellite images from the site show a this building on the site, still unfinished, to the east of the old mosque. The size of the top floor is about 15 x 25 meters, with multiple small room, as if for living.

Reactions

See also: Talk:U.S. airstrike on Al-Jinah mosque#Blaming Russia

Al-Qaeda blames the U.S.

Al-Qaeda Central condemns America. Al-Qaeda's Al Nafir Bulletin condemns the attack, speaks of 300 of our people killed and wounded. See AL-Nafir 11

Victims

For more, see Talk:U.S. airstrike on Al-Jinah mosque#Victims
  • محمد عثمان‏ @mohammedalnor1 - March 19, 2017 (Shows photos of 5 victims.)
    من مجزرة بلدة #الجينة بريف حلب الغربي (From his massacre #الجينة Brive Aleppo West)
    • Suren Georges‏ @SurenGeorges Retweeted محمد عثمان
      Photos of tonight massacre by #Assad/#Russia after airstrikes on a mosque in alJina. +75 killed.
      100% warcrime and terrorism #Syria #الجينة
  • شبكة مراسل سوري‏ @Sy_Reporter - March 19, 2017 (White Helmets publishes two lists with 29 and 26 names.)
    مراسل_سوري
    الدفاع المدني يعلن توثيق 54 شهيدا بالإضافة لـ 10 آخرين مجهولي الهوية جراء الغارات الجوية للتحالف الدولي على مسجد بلدة #الجينة
    Translation #مراسل_سوري Civil defense declares documenting 54 martyrs in addition to another 10 unidentified persons by international coalition air raids on the #الجينة town mosque.

Video

YouTube

Twitter

  • Two videos by Bilal Abdul Kareem‏ from March 17:
    • 10:12 am - US strike, 56 dead, last night in Jeena didn't hit HTS. Locals: 'It hit Tabligh gathering that happens evry Thursday for past 4 yrs
    • 2:02 pm - US claims that it's airstrike that killed 56 in Jeena didn't hit the mosque are false. See for yourself
  • Walid‏ @walid970721
    Watch the White Helmet at the bombing site in Al-Jineh accuse the Russian air force of the US attack on the mosque on Thursday #Syria (English captions)