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The U.S. military has determined that two innocent children were killed in an American airstrike against the Khorasan group in Syria last fall.

An investigation by the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force found that "non-combatant children" were killed in the raid on Nov. 5 and 6 in 2014.

The U.S. had previously denied accusations that innocent civilians, including children were killed in the strike but a lengthy investigation "indicates the airstrikes" against Khorasan targets in Harim City, Syria, "likely led to the deaths of two non-combatant children."

Military officials said they could not provide the ages or gender of the two children killed.

In a written statement the commander of the Joint Task Force, Lt. Gen. James Terry — who had ordered the probe — said "We regret the unintentional loss of lives."

A Central command statement says prior to the airstrikes a thorough assessment of the potential targets had determined the Khorasan group was using the buildings "exclusively for military purposes" and "there was no indication that there were children at any of the targeted buildings."

The previously unknown Khorasan group, accused of plotting terrorist attacks against Americans, was the first target of U.S. airstrikes launched against terrorist groups in Syria, including ISIS.

Intelligence analysts say Khorasan refers to battle-hardened al Qaeda fighters who have traveled from Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere to Syria.


— Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Hasani Gittens