A drone strike on a graduation ceremony at a Syrian military college in Homs province has resulted in at least 80 deaths and 240 injuries, a tragedy that the Syrian government attributes to “terrorists.” The victims of the attack included women, children, and members of the armed forces. According to the Syrian Health Minister, Hassan al-Ghabash, among the dead were six women and six children. Unfortunately, the death toll is likely to rise due to the severity of the injuries sustained by many of the victims.
Reports indicate that the country’s Defense Minister, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, had attended the graduation ceremony and left the college just minutes before the attack occurred. An unnamed witness shared, “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.” Reuters estimated the death toll to be over 100, indicating the magnitude of the incident.
The Syrian government, led by President Bashar Assad, has condemned the drone strike and accused “known international forces” of supporting the attack. They have vowed a strong response and labeled the act as an unprecedented criminal act committed by cowardly terrorists. The Syrian Defense Ministry affirmed their determination to retaliate forcefully against these terrorist organizations, wherever they may be. Both the planners and perpetrators of the attack will be held accountable according to the Ministry. The Syrian Foreign Ministry emphasized that this incident would not deter their mission to eradicate terrorism and its sponsors.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a brutal civil war against armed insurgents backed by international forces. Assad’s regime has gradually regained control of most of the country, primarily with the assistance of Russian and Iranian military support. The recent attack, deep within government-held territory, stands out as one of the deadliest strikes against a Syrian military installation thus far.
In response to the drone strike, government forces reportedly carried out extensive bombing in opposition-controlled areas of Idlib province. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern about the drone strike and the subsequent retaliatory shelling. Guterres called for a nationwide ceasefire to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
This incident underscores the ongoing challenges faced by Syria in its battle against terrorism. The country continues to be a battleground for various factions and foreign interests, resulting in the loss of countless lives and widespread destruction. The international community must come together to support a peaceful resolution and address the root causes of the conflict, promoting stability and security for the Syrian people.
As the investigation continues, it is crucial to hold the perpetrators accountable and ensure justice for the victims and their families. Syria’s quest to eradicate terrorism and achieve lasting peace requires global solidarity and a commitment to finding a political solution. Only through collective effort can the country move towards a brighter and more secure future.