A drone attack on a Syrian military academy in the country’s western city of Homs has killed scores of people and left many others wounded.
“Eighty people, including six children and six women, were martyred and 240 people were injured as a result of this terrorist act,” Syrian Health Minister Hassan al-Ghabash said on Thursday.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Maqdad listed “terrorist groups supported by the United States” behind the attack in a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Fars news agency reported.
“The two foreign ministers emphasized the need for the serious determination of the international community and the cooperation of the countries of the region for a decisive and effective fight against the sinister phenomenon of terrorism,” it said.
The Syrian army confirmed that several drones” targeted “the graduation ceremony” attended by cadets’ families in Homs on Thursday.
It said that “armed terrorist organizations targeted the graduation ceremony e attack was carried out by “terrorist groups.”
Syria’s state television said the government announced a three-day state of mourning, starting on Friday.
The Syrian armed forces said the attack was “unprecedented,” adding it was carried out by “explosive laden drones.”
The army promised to respond “with full force and determination, warning that those who planned and executed the attack “will pay dearly.”
“There were dozens of wounded soldiers, with critical injuries among the invited families, including women and children, in addition to a number of college students participating in the graduation,” the defense ministry said in a separate statement.
It also said that “terrorist organizations supported by well-known international parties” have carried out the attack.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a statement today, the Syrian Foreign Ministry called for the condemnation of the terrorist act by the UN Security Council.
However, a UN spokesperson said United Nations chief Antonio Guterres is deeply concerned by the drone attack and retaliatory shelling by what he called pro-government forces.
“The Secretary-General strongly condemns all violence in Syria and urges all parties to respect their obligations under international law,” Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
Observers say the attack was launched from areas northwest of Homs. It came one day after Syrian army forces carried out a string of military operations against terrorist bases and arms depots in the northwestern Province of Idlib.
Dozens of terrorists, among them high-profile commanders, were killed in the operation, accordion to Syrian defense ministry.