The US-led International Coalition denied accusations of civilian casualties in a deadly strike on Al Sousa village in Deir Ezzor province, claiming that the strike hit a mosque occupied by ISIS militants, turning in into “a legitimate target”.
Over 70 civilians lost their lives after the Coalition’s jets targeted Al Osman mosque in Al Sousa last Friday. The strike was carried out immediately after the end of the prayer when the people flocked to the exit. Women and children constituted the majority of the victims.
The International Coalition initially denied responsibility for the incident, saying that its strikes target exclusively ISIS position. However, the emerging evidence forced the Coalition to change its narrative and accuse ISIS terrorists of turning the mosque building into a command center.
“Such misuse of the mosque is another example of their violation of the law of war and made the mosque a valid military target,” Coalition Spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan said.