A U.S.-led coalition airstrike leveled a Syrian mosque yesterday among other buildings used by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to attack the Syrian Democratic Forces, Army Col. Rob Manning, the Pentagon’s director of press operations, told Pentagon reporters yesterday.
While mosques are generally among those buildings that have protected status in wartime, Manning explained that this mosque lost that status when ISIS “deliberately” chose it as a command-and-control center.
“This is the second attack in a week where ISIS’ misuse of a mosque violates the law of land warfare and made those mosques military targets,” he said.
The law of land warfare is an internationally recognized set of laws established to regulate the conduct of war. The law of war requires combatants to protect religious buildings, shrines and other consecrated places.
“Our in-depth monitoring of ISIS … made us aware when only ISIS fighters would be present. We conduct inquiries into all credible allegations of civilian casualties,” Manning said of the air strike.
“[ISIS is] nasty [and] brutal, and they certainly have no problem at all putting civilians at risk and jeopardizing the status of protected targets under the law of land warfare,” he added.