Syria

Syria airstrike killed Al Qaeda fighters but didn't hit mosque, Pentagon says

National Review columnist Tom Rogan provides insight

 

A U.S. airstrike in Syria killed "dozens" of Al Qaeda fighters -- and may have eliminated some of the terror network's "high value" leaders -- but did not directly strike a mosque, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters Friday.

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"This [strike] hit its intended target," Capt. Jeff Davis said. He showed a photo of the bombed-out building to Pentagon reporters and added that the Pentagon was still assessing the damage from Thursday's strike.

Davis said the U.S. strike was planned around a "meeting" around Al Qaeda leaders in the terror-linked building. "It was a meeting of Al Qaeda leadership that we had been tracking for some time."

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He also admitted there "could be damage" to the side of the mosque next door. The strike unfolded in Al-Jinah, Syria, located 17 miles southwest of Aleppo, around 7 p.m. local time. 

In the photo shown to reporters, the mosque appeared intact. 

It was unclear if the mosque had any connection to the targeted building aside from being next-door, according to the Pentagon. The strike was conducted using drones and jet aircraft, Davis said.

The airstrike came a month after a CIA drone strike killed Al Qaeda's #2, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, in Syria.  

Also, during the final hours of the Obama presidency, a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber killed more than 100 Al Qaeda fighters in Syria. They were at a camp "where more than 100 fighters were being trained in terror tactics," the U.S. military's Central Command reported.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews