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Drone attack on Syrian military academy kills 80

Published : 06 Oct 2023, 02:03

  DF News Desk
A wounded man is treated at a hospital in Homs, central Syria, on Oct. 5, 2023. Photo: Xinhua.

A drone attack on the Military Academy in Syria's central province of Homs on Thursday has claimed the lives of 80 people and left 240 others injured, said the Syrian Health Ministry, reported Xinhua.

Syrian Health Minister Hassan al-Ghabbash announced later Thursday that the casualty count is still provisional, with six children and six women wounded seriously.

The incident happened after a graduation ceremony for Syrian military officers at the Military Academy in Homs.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights disclosed a higher death toll of over 112, including 14 civilians.

The UK-based watchdog group noted the presence of Syria's defense minister at the ceremony, who departed before the attack.

The Syrian military refrained from explicitly naming the culprits, but characterized them as "terrorist groups backed by known international parties," and vowed to deliver a resolute response.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement following the attack, calling on the UN and the UN Security Council to denounce the assault vehemently.

The ministry pinned responsibility on the United States, branding the attack as "part of the brutal attacks perpetrated by the U.S. occupation-backed terrorist groups to destabilize the situation in Syria."

The Syrian government declared a 3-day official mourning period beginning on Friday, during which flags in Syria and at all Syrian embassies and diplomatic missions overseas will be lowered to half-mast.

Oman, India, and Iran expressed their condolences to the Syrian government, according to the state news agency SANA.

This incident is part of a rising trend of drone attacks in Syria in recent months, with rebel factions employing drones to target government installations and infrastructure.

Conversely, the Syrian government and its allies have also harnessed drone technology for offensive operations against rebel strongholds.

The Syrian civil war, which erupted in 2011, has inflicted substantial casualties and left the nation fractured, as government forces remain embroiled in conflict with a variety of rebel groups.