Activists said 46 civilians died in and around the mosque. The US denied that they had hit it, saying that they had targeted an al Qaeda meeting next door. Today, however, a coalition of investigatory groups have combined witness testimony, photos and architectural modelling to show that it was a mosque that was targeted.
The report, by Human Rights Watch, Forensic Architecture and Bellingcat, has found that the US airstrike struck the Omar Ibn al Khatab mosque near al Jinah, Aleppo, on March 16.
The groups say that the US failed to properly identify the building as a mosque and that prayers were about to begin, meaning hundreds of civilians were in the vicinity of the building.
No evidence was found that al Qaeda or any other armed group was meeting in the mosque.
“The US seems to have gotten several things fundamentally wrong in this attack, and dozens of civilians paid the price,” said Ole Solvang, deputy emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. “The US authorities need to figure out what went wrong, start doing their homework before they launch attacks, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”