The funeral procession for dozens of soldiers and civilians killed in a drone attack the previous day was held in the city of Homs in central Syria on Friday.
Flag-wrapped caskets of the slain soldiers, who were killed a day earlier during a drone attack on a military graduation ceremony, were laid on the ground during their funeral procession while the relatives of the deceased were mourning them with heavy hearts.
The attack, blamed on terrorists, took place on Thursday after a graduation ceremony of Syrian officers at the Military Academy in the city of Homs.
The Syrian Health Ministry updated the death toll on Friday, saying 89 people were killed, including 31 women and five children, while 277 others were wounded in the deadly attack.
As the funeral procession was ending, the crowds heard bullet fire which appeared later to be the Syrian air defenses intercepting suspected drone attacks in Homs.
The pro-government Sham FM radio said the air defense missiles intercepted a number of drones in the sky over Homs.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based watchdog group, said the Syrian army retaliated to the attack, firing over 500 shells on rebel positions in different areas in the northwestern province of Idlib, the launching pad of most of the rebel drone attacks.
The Syrian government declared a 3-day official mourning period beginning on Friday, during which flags in Syria and at all Syrian embassies and diplomatic missions overseas will be lowered to half-mast.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement following the attack on Thursday, calling on the UN and the UN Security Council to denounce the assault.
The ministry pinned responsibility on the United States, branding the attack as “part of the brutal attacks perpetrated by the U.S. occupation-backed terrorist groups to destabilize the situation in Syria.”
This incident is part of a rising trend of drone attacks in Syria in recent months, with rebel factions employing drones to target government installations and infrastructure.
Conversely, the Syrian government and its allies have also harnessed drone technology for offensive operations against rebel strongholds.
The Syrian civil war, which erupted in 2011, has inflicted substantial casualties and left the nation fractured, as government forces remain embroiled in conflict with a variety of rebel groups.