DAMASCUS — At least 100 people were killed in an apparent drone attack on a military academy in the Syrian province of Homs yesterday.
Civilians were also among the dead, according to a statement from the Syrian Defence Ministry, which also claimed that terrorist groups were behind the attack.
According to Reuters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 100 people were killed and 125 injured. An official in the alliance backing Syria’s government said the toll was around 100. Health Minister Hassan Al-Ghobash gave a lower death count, telling state TV 80 people had been killed, including six women and six children, but said about 240 people had been injured.
What we know about the attack so far
Syria’s military said “armed terrorist organisations” had targeted “the graduation ceremony for officers of the military academy,” according to state-run Sana news agency.
The attack included “explosive-laden drones,” the military also said.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack, but the Syrian Observatory pointed to either the Islamist militia Tahrir al-Sham or the so-called “Islamic State” as possible suspects.
According to Reuters, the Syrian defence minister had been attending the graduation ceremony but left shortly before the attack.
“After the ceremony, people went down to the courtyard and the explosives hit. We don’t know where it came from, and corpses littered the ground,” a man who had helped to set up decorations for the event told Reuters.
The army’s general command condemned the attack as “cowardly” and vowed to “respond with full force”.
Homs has been under the control of the government of Bashar Assad since 2017. — DW