A deadly drone attack on a military college graduation ceremony in Syria’s western city of Homs has killed more than 100 people and injured hundreds more, according to Syrian officials and a monitoring group.
The attack took place on Wednesday, October 5, 2023, as the graduates and their families were leaving the ceremony. Several drones laden with explosives targeted the crowd, causing a massive blast and a fire.
Syria’s defense ministry blamed “terrorist organizations supported by well-known international parties” for the attack, but did not name them. No group has claimed responsibility yet.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said at least 60 soldiers and civilians were killed, and more than 200 were wounded. It said the death toll could rise as some of the injured were in critical condition.
The attack was described as “unprecedented” by the Syrian armed forces, who vowed to respond “with full force and determination”. They warned that those who planned and executed the attack “will pay dearly”.
Syria’s defense minister attended the graduation ceremony but left minutes before the attack, according to sources in the regional alliance backing the Damascus government.
The attack was one of the deadliest in Syria’s decade-long civil war, which has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions more. The war has also seen the use of drones by various parties, including the government, rebels, Turkey and Israel.