Revised Casualty Count in Homs Drone Attack Reaches 80 Fatalities and 240 Injuries

by Ethan Kim
Homs drone attack

The Minister of Health in Syria, Hassan al-Ghabash, has updated the casualty numbers resulting from last Thursday’s drone strike in Homs, indicating 80 individuals were killed and an additional 240 sustained injuries. The attack targeted a densely attended military graduation event in the central Syrian city of Homs, making it one of the most lethal incidents against the Syrian army in recent memory. Syria’s conflict has now endured for thirteen years.

According to Minister al-Ghabash, both civilians and military staff were among the deceased, which included six children. With numerous injured individuals in critical condition, there is growing apprehension that the death count could escalate further.

A preliminary statement from the Syrian military had disclosed that drones carrying explosives struck the event just as it was concluding, attended by young military officers and their families. The military pointed the finger at insurgents “supported by identifiable international actors” for orchestrating the attack, although no specific group was identified.

No organization has yet claimed responsibility for the lethal action.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, through his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, expressed “serious concern” over both the Homs drone assault and subsequent “retaliatory artillery fire” in northwestern Syria.

Although the military has not released its own casualty data, Syrian state-run television reported that the government has declared a three-day mourning period commencing on Friday. Prior accounts of the attack were reported by both the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition monitoring entity, and the pro-government radio station Sham FM.

Reiterating their previous claim, the military asserted that insurgents “supported by recognizable international entities” were behind the attack and announced that critical injuries included women and children.

The Syrian military proclaimed that it “will counter these terrorist groups with absolute force and determination wherever they may be.”

The Syrian crisis originated from nonviolent demonstrations against the government led by President Bashar Assad in March 2011. However, a severe government response to the protesters escalated the situation into a full-fledged civil war.

Significant military support from Russia, Iran, and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has been a turning point in favor of the Assad government since 2015.

The protracted conflict has claimed approximately half a million lives, wounded hundreds of thousands more, and decimated large swaths of the nation. It has also displaced nearly half of Syria’s prewar population of 23 million, with over 5 million becoming refugees.

While most Arab states have resumed diplomatic relations with Damascus, the country remains fractured. Northwestern regions are controlled by al-Qaida-affiliated Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Turkish-backed opposition, whereas the northeastern parts are governed by the U.S.-supported Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

In a follow-up to the drone strikes, Syrian government forces directed artillery fire at villages in Idlib province, a rebel stronghold. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Earlier in the day, separate shelling by the Syrian army resulted in at least five civilian deaths in a village in western Aleppo province.

Local authorities in northeastern Syria reported Turkish drone attacks on Thursday targeting oil infrastructure, electrical substations, and a dam, leading to the deaths of six security personnel and two civilians.

While Turkey has yet to issue a statement on these attacks, it maintains that the principal Syrian Kurdish militia is affiliated with Turkey’s banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a group responsible for a longstanding insurgency against Turkey.

Syrian Kurdish forces had previously allied with the United States in the campaign against the Islamic State militant group, which was officially defeated in Syria in March 2019.

Reported by Aji from Damascus, Syria. Contributions from Big Big News reporter Ghaith Al-Sayed in Idlib, Syria.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Homs drone attack

What is the updated casualty toll from the Homs drone attack according to Syria’s Health Minister?

The Health Minister of Syria, Hassan al-Ghabash, has revised the casualty count from the drone attack in Homs to 80 killed and 240 injured.

Who were among the victims of the drone attack?

Both civilians and military personnel were among the victims, including six children. Many of the wounded are in critical condition, raising concerns that the death toll may increase.

What was the nature of the event that was targeted?

The drone attack targeted a packed military graduation ceremony in the central Syrian city of Homs. The ceremony was attended by young military officers and their families.

What entities are suspected to be behind the attack?

The Syrian military accuses insurgents “backed by known international forces” of being responsible for the attack. However, no specific group has claimed responsibility yet.

What was the United Nations’ reaction to the attack?

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, through his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, expressed “serious concern” over both the drone attack in Homs and subsequent retaliatory artillery fire in northwestern Syria.

Has the government taken any steps in response to the attack?

The Syrian government has declared a three-day state of mourning starting on Friday. The military has also stated it will respond “with full force and decisiveness” to terrorist organizations responsible for the attack.

How has this event affected the ongoing Syrian conflict?

The attack stands as one of the deadliest against the Syrian army in recent years, exacerbating an already prolonged conflict that has lasted for thirteen years.

What has been the international involvement in the Syrian conflict?

While most Arab governments have restored ties with the Syrian government, Syria remains a divided country. International players, including Russia, Iran, and the United States, continue to have varying degrees of involvement.

Are there other recent attacks or military actions related to the Homs drone attack?

Following the drone attack, Syrian government forces shelled villages in Idlib province, which is in the rebel-held northwest. Additionally, local authorities in northeastern Syria reported Turkish drone attacks targeting oil production facilities, electrical substations, and a dam.

What is the general state of Syria in the backdrop of this attack?

The conflict in Syria has claimed approximately half a million lives and displaced nearly half of the country’s prewar population. Regions of the country are under various forms of control, ranging from government forces to rebel groups and foreign-backed militias.

More about Homs drone attack

  • Syrian Conflict Overview
  • UN Secretary-General Statements
  • Health Ministry of Syria Official Announcements
  • Syrian Military Reports
  • Overview of Foreign Involvement in Syrian Conflict
  • Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Updates
  • State of Kurdish Forces in Syria
  • Drone Warfare and International Law
  • History of Insurgency in Syria
  • Idlib Province and Rebel Forces

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GlobalCitizen October 5, 2023 - 7:50 pm

Half a million lives lost and we’re still counting. This needs to end now.

JohnDoe October 5, 2023 - 11:59 pm

Wow, this situation in Syria is really messed up. 80 people killed in a single attack? that’s just heartbreaking.

Sara_Reports October 6, 2023 - 12:18 am

The details about who’s behind the attack are still fuzzy. Syrian military is blaming ‘known international forces’ but who exactly are they talking about?

DavidR October 6, 2023 - 1:39 am

Russian involvement turned the tide in 2015, but the end is nowhere in sight. What a mess.

EcoWarrior October 6, 2023 - 3:51 am

Strikes in Northeast also hit oil production facilities, but it hardly gets a mention. Speaks volumes about what’s prioritized.

MikeL October 6, 2023 - 7:23 am

didn’t realize the Syrian conflict is now 13 years long. Time flies and nothing changes.

Tech_Guru October 6, 2023 - 10:10 am

Drones are now the weapon of choice, it seems. It’s scary how tech can be used for such destructive purposes.

SamPolitical October 6, 2023 - 12:19 pm

The UN Secretary-General is “seriously concerned,” but what’s actually being done at the diplomatic level?

CryptoQueen October 6, 2023 - 12:59 pm

Three-day mourning and then what? They need to find who’s responsible, else it’s just gonna keep happening.

AnnaLife October 6, 2023 - 3:22 pm

Six children among the killed, unimaginable! when will the world step in?


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