Drone Strike Targets Homs Military Academy Graduation

Update (1226 EST): The SOHR has reported the death toll has risen to 60. Al-Qaeda has praised the attack, but has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Update (0857 EST): The Syrian government has confirmed that Defense Minister Abbas departed the ceremony approximately 21 minutes before the explosion.

Update (0844 EST): Casualties have risen to at least 54 killed and 125 injured. The Syrian Defense Ministry has vowed to “respond strongly and decisively”. The Syrian government has blamed “internationally backed” militant groups.

Update (0809 EST): The SOHR is now reporting at least 25 killed with a majority of the casualties being the family members of the graduating class of Syrian Army officers.

At approximately 0731 EST, at least one explosive-laden drone struck a graduation ceremony at the Homs Military Academy in Home Syria. Initially, at least four were reported killed and dozens injured. As of this publication, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is reporting at least seven killed and twenty injured.

Syrian Defense Minister Abbas was reportedly in attendance and there is single-source reporting claiming he was injured. However, this has not been verified.

This is developing.

Homs Military Academy was founded in 1933 by France during the Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon. During the period of French administration the academy provided officer training for the Troupes Speciales du Levant – the locally recruited Syrian and Lebanese units forming part of the Army of the Levant. Since the end of 1943 and the French Mandate, it has served the Syrian government and produced many of its notable leaders including President Assad. It is the equivalent to the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

 

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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