Armed Conflicts
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Devastation in Syria! Over 100 dead & 240 wounded in bombing of Military School - Is a ground offensive coming to Idlib?

At least 100 dead and 240 wounded in a drone attack during a graduation ceremony on the afternoon of 5 October, when a drone attack targeted the Syrian Military Academy near the central city of Homs.

The attack took place after the annual graduation ceremony for new officers, Syrian state television reported, adding that the attack resulted in "a large number of casualties".

According to Syrian Military Capabilities, a pro-government Facebook page with reliable sources, not all of the victims were service members, as many civilians were at the academy at the time of the attack to attend the graduation of relatives and friends.

Syrian opposition activists claimed that Defence Minister Major General Ali Mahmoud Abbas, who was attending the graduation ceremony, was among those injured in the drone attack. However, Sputnik reported, citing Syrian security sources, that the attack actually took place more than 20 minutes after the minister and other senior Syrian Arab Army (SAA) officers left the academy.

In a statement shared by the official Syrian Arab News Agency, the Syrian Defense Ministry said that the drone attack was carried out by "terrorist groups supported by known international forces."

The ministry also confirmed that some of those killed or wounded in the attack were civilians, without giving specific numbers.

"The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces considers this cowardly act of terrorism an unprecedented criminal act and confirms that it will respond with full force and determination to these terrorist groups wherever they are; it also stresses that the planners and perpetrators of this criminal act will be held accountable," the ministry statement said.

No group has yet to claim responsibility for the deadly attack. In the past, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an al-Qaeda offshoot that controls the northwestern region of Idlib, has been accused of similar drone attacks.

Earlier this week, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria warned that the Islamic Party of Turkistan and Ansar al-Tawhid, two close allies of HTS, were planning to launch attacks from the wider Idlib region with drones and rockets.

The attack on the Syrian Military Academy will likely lead to a serious escalation in the wider Idlib region, where a ceasefire is still in place. The SAA and its allies could launch strikes against the area. A ground operation also seems likely, although it could lead to a confrontation with the Turkish army that maintains a large force there.

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