The State Department has issued a statement today declaring itself officially “appalled” at yesterday’s Syrian airstrikes against a rebel suburb of Damascus, accusing the Syrian military of deliberately targeting civilians in the attack.
The Syrian military reported the strikes to have targeted local fighters in a town under control of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front. One of the strikes hit a mosque, however, killing several civilians within, including children.
Nusra isn’t a party to the ongoing Syrian ceasefire, and is free to be targeted by everyone. This has complicated the ceasefire, as many rebel groups who are party to the ceasefire are closely aligned with Nusra, often putting them in the line of fire.
The US has mostly responded to incidents involving Nusra by condemning the Syrian military for targeting them, though again such strikes are not covered by the ceasefire, and while it’s not always clear what Nusra controls, there appears to be little doubt they are present in Eastern Ghouta.