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US coalition airstrikes kill 12 ISIS terrorists operating secretly in Syrian mosques

U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in Syria (Senior Airman Tyler Woodward/U.S. Air Force)
October 23, 2018

In less than one week, two strikes have been carried out by U.S.-led coalition against two ISIS command centers inside Syrian mosques.

The first strike was conducted on Oct. 18, killing 12 ISIS troops in as-Susah, Syria, CNN reported. The second attack, on Monday, “destroyed several buildings” that were key to ISIS for coordinating their attacks against Syrian Democratic Forces in the same region.

According to a coalition statement, a mosque was one of several buildings targeted by the Monday airstrike, The Hill reported.

“Daesh (ISIS) continues to violate the Law of Armed Conflict and misuse religious sites. Coalition strikes will continue to target Daesh in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, as the Coalition and SDF advance to defeat Daesh in their self-proclaimed caliphate,” the statement said.

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The U.S.-led coalition also noted, “The facility was a mosque, which the law of war protects from targeting unless it is used for a military purpose.”

However, ISIS “repeatedly planned and actively coordinated attacks” from the mosques, making them fair game.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said, “They’re nasty, they’re brutal, they’re unethical and they certainly have no problem at all putting civilians at risk and jeopardizing the status of protected targets.”

“Such Daesh misuse of the mosque is another example of their violation of the law of war and made the mosque a valid military target,” the coalition added.

Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the coalition said, “One of those facilities used by Daesh was a mosque that was being used as a defensive fighting position and command center. The strike killed terrorists as they were actively firing on coalition partner forces. After monitoring to reduce the risk to civilians, the Coalition precision strike targeted and destroyed the buildings adapted by Daesh terrorists as command centers and fighting positions when only their fighters were present.”

The U.S. has been conducting air strikes in Syria since 2014. Numerous strikes have been carried out by U.S.-led coalition military forces against ISIS in an attempt to completely eliminate their presence in Syria, along the Euphrates river.