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MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Late at night on March 16, media oultets started reporting about an airstrike on Syria’s al-Jina village delivered during prayer time, "which destroyed a local mosque and killed many people [the alleged number of victims is said to have grown to 70 by now]," the Russian diplomat said.
"Biased news outlets immediately picked the news up and rushed to accuse Russia’s Aerospace Force of carrying out the airstrike."
"Family photos showing smiling children that were said to have been killed during the airstrike, emerged on the internet," Zakharova went on to say. "However, people who were clearing debris at the site found a missile fragment with marks in Latin alphabet which led them to think that a Hellfire missile had been used. At the same time, the US military confirmed that the airstrike in that area was conducted by the US. The airstrike had targeted a building located across the street from the mosque, where al-Qaeda members usually held meetings."
The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said that a probe should be conducted into what happened in al-Jina in order to figure out what target was hit and who are the victims that the so-called witnesses are talking about.
Moscow has no doubts that the US airstrikes, delivered at the Syrian village of al-Jina on Thursday, had targeted terrorists, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.
"Of course, there should be a probe into what happened in al-Jina in order to figure out what target was hit and who are the victims that the so-called witnesses are talking about. However, we don’t have any doubts that the US airstrikes targeted terrorists," Zakharova stressed.
"Unlike some of our adversaries, we are not going to make any allegations saying it was a deliberate murder of civilians and a destruction of civil infrastructure facilities," the Russian diplomat added.
"At the same time, if the death of civilians in al-Jina is confirmed, then, in our opinion, it should lead us all to consider a closer coordination between those taking part in the fight against terrorists in Syria," Zakahrova said. "It could improve the accuracy of targeting and help avoid steps that are not necessary from the military point of view, like the coalition airstrikes at the dams along the Euphrates River and oil facilities."