A graduation celebration attended by recruit families was bombed by drones, killing women and children.
The Syrian army blamed the assault on “terrorist groups backed by known international forces.”
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.
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.”
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.