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IRGC chief: Perpetrators of drone attack on Syria military college to pay 'heavy price'

Chief Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Hossein Salami

The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says those who committed a "criminal" drone attack on a military academy in Syria's western city of Homs will pay a heavy price.

Major General Hossein Salami made the remark in a message to Syria's chief of the general staff of the army and armed forces and defense minister on Saturday.

Salami condemned the "terrorist crime" that targeted the Homs Military Academy during a Thursday graduation ceremony for military cadets. At least 89 people were killed and more than 270 wounded.

"The perpetrators of this crime and its sponsors will face a major response and surprising revenge from the faithful fighters of the Islamic resistance and will pay a heavy price," the top Iranian commander said.

The international community expects world organizations and institutions, particularly the UN Security Council, to fulfill their responsibility vis-à-vis those who have occupied Syria and disrupt security and calm of the country's people, he said.

The gruesome act of terrorism, carried out by drones laden with explosives, shook Syria and sparked international outrage. 

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which is considered as one of the deadliest on the war-torn country’s army in years. However, the Syrian army on Thursday blamed foreign-backed terrorist groups for the attack, vowing to “respond with full force.”

The Syrian government has declared three days of mourning starting from Friday.

In a Friday message to his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi said foreign backers of terrorist groups, including the occupiers, are responsible for the "criminal" drone attack in Homs.

"Undoubtedly, the responsibility for this tragic incident lies with the foreign supporters of terrorist groups, including the occupiers of the Syrian lands, who prevent… the effective fight against terrorism," Raeisi said.

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