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HomeWorldSyria war: Drone attack on graduation ceremony kills dozens

Syria war: Drone attack on graduation ceremony kills dozens

  • Drone Strike in Homs
  • Civilian Casualties, Blame Game
  • Ongoing Conflict in Syria

Syria health ministry reports that a drone strike on a military academy in the western city of Homs has killed at least 89 persons.

A graduation celebration attended by recruit families was bombed by drones, killing women and children.

A British monitoring group estimated that 116 persons had been killed.

The Syrian army blamed the assault on “terrorist groups backed by known international forces.”

No immediate claim was made by the rebels and jihadists combating the government in the civil war of the country.

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It is believed that the drone assault was launched from opposition-held territory north-west of Homs.

Later, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that eleven civilians had been slain as a result of government bombardments on several cities, towns, and villages in Idlib province and Aleppo, the stronghold of the opposition.

Syria’s state-run news agency, Sana, cited a statement from the General Command of the Armed Forces as saying that several explosive-laden drones targeted the Homs military academy shortly after the afternoon graduation ceremony concluded.

The statement asserted that the armed forces “consider this unprecedented criminal act and will respond with full force and resolve to these terrorist groups wherever they are.”

The health ministry was cited by the agency in a subsequent report as saying that 277 people were injured and 31 women and five children perished in the strike.

A man who had helped set up decorations at the site told the Reuters news agency, “After the ceremony. As people descended into the courtyard, the bombs detonated.” We have no idea where it originated, and the ground was littered with dead bodies.”

A graphic video depicting the aftermath of the assault depicted dozens of victims and their relatives yelling for assistance inside a large, walled parade ground. In addition, gunfire can be heard in the background.

According to the SOHR, Syria’s minister of defence attended the commencement ceremony but departed minutes before the attack.

In 2011, President Bashar al-Assad violently suppressed nonviolent pro-democracy protests, starting a civil war that killed over 500,000 people.

Approximately 6.8 million people are displaced internally, while another six million are refugees or asylum-seekers abroad.

The UN’s special envoy for the Middle East, Geir Pedersen, characterised the attack on the academy as “horrific” and urged all parties to the conflict to “exercise the utmost restraint.”

“All sides must respect their obligations under international law and ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure,” he stated.

“Today’s events further demonstrate that the status quo in Syria is untenable, and in the absence of a meaningful political path, I fear that the security situation will continue to deteriorate.”

In a separate development in Syria on Thursday, at least ten persons were reportedly killed by Turkish drone strikes in a Kurdish-controlled region of north-eastern Syria in response to a bombing in Ankara that Kurdish militants claimed responsibility for.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that 17 locations were targeted, including facilities affiliated with the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as well as a power station in Qamishli, a water station near Hassakeh, and an oil field.

A US official told Reuters that the US military shot down an armed Turkish drone near US forces in Syria.

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