by Steven Sahiounie, published on Mideast Discourse, October 6, 2023
October 6, 2023, Latakia, Syria: The Syrian Arab Army has shot down drones targeting the Syrian Military Hospital at Homs today, where terrorists had planned to kill the hospitalized survivors of the massive drone attack the Uyghurs had carried out yesterday, as well as target the flag-draped coffins being dispersed to funerals this morning.
The 91 dead include 31 women and 5 children as they watched their family members in a graduation ceremony at the Homs Military Academy in Homs, while 277 were injured. This was one of the deadliest attacks on the Syrian military, and was timed to occur at the end of the ceremony when the families went down into the courtyard to personally greet their loved ones who had transitioned from cadet to officer. Syria has declared three days of mourning.
The Syrian Arab Army began attacks on the known Uyghur positions in the province of Idlib, east of Latakia, and Ariha, west of Aleppo.
The attacks were carried out by the Uyghurs of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and the Brigade of Emigrants. These two armed groups are known for their technological capabilities in conducting drone attacks.
Experts believe the attack on the Syrian military academy, and its civilian audience of family members, was prompted by the visit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to China where the 19th Asian Games opened and saw Syrian athletes participating.
The massive attack was shocking since the Syrian conflict has become a stalemate, and the battlefields are silent since 2017, when US President Trump cut-off the billion dollar CIA program, Timber Sycamore, which funded Radical Islamic terrorists in Syria battling to overthrow the Syrian government in Damascus. All of Syria is under government control, with the exception of the Kurdish-US occupation of the northeast, and the terrorist controlled Idlib province in the northwest.
Al Mayadeen TV reported, the advanced drones used in the attack were delivered three months ago from France to the TIP. This terrorist organization is allied with the terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly named Jibhat al-Nusra, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. TIP is composed of Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group native to northwestern China. Its fighters are based in the mountainous areas of Latakia and Idlib in Syria, which border on Turkey.
The Syrian Ministry of Defense had previously reported shooting down two drones north of Aleppo which had been targeting civilians in small villages.
Who are the Uyghurs?
TIP is an armed Uyghur terrorist group which has been in Syria fighting alongside the US-sponsored terrorists, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), since 2015. Long War Journal reported in 2015 that TIP had ties to Al Qaeda.
Syrian Churches have been destroyed by TIP, and in Jisr al-Shughur a Church’s cross had a TIP flag placed on top of it. The province of Idlib has been ethnically cleansed of Christians by TIP, and they killed a Christian man and his wife. In previous battles in Idlib and Homs, TIP fought alongside Al Qaeda and ISIS. (my understanding is that Jisr al-Shghur is now populated primarily by Uyghurs who brought their families from China, while the indigenous population retreated to Turkish camps during the war [editor ])
Camps training children as terrorists are being run by TIP. Uyghur child soldiers being trained with guns were depicted in a video released by TIP.
Turkey’s support of the Uyghurs
The Uyghurs are a Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic group having a common linguistic, religious, and cultural kinship with the people of Turkey.
Erdogan, and his ruling AKP party, are followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, a global terror organization which stand on the same platform of core beliefs as TIP, Al Qaeda and ISIS.
In the past, while Mayor of Istanbul, Erdogan described the Uyghurs as the ancient forefathers of the Turkish nation, and their area in western China as the cradle of Turkic history, civilization and culture.
In 2014, the Uyghurs carried out a terror attack in Kunming, China. The terrorists caught fleeing the attack had Turkish passports on them as they attempted to travel through Indonesia.
According to the Jamestown Foundation, Turkish connections were used by TIP to go to Syria through the humanitarian Uyghur East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) which is located in Turkey. Turkish President Erdogan personally directed an elaborate travel plan for the Uyghurs in China to arrive in Syria to kill.
Erdogan directed fake passports to be issued for the Uyghurs, which were then used to travel from China to Istanbul, where the fake passports were then confiscated by Turkish immigration officials, and the Turkish Intelligence agents clandestinely transported the terrorists from Istanbul to Idlib.
TIP solicits donations by using the Turkish postal service, which send the donations to Turkish banks.
In 2017, the Associated Press reported at least 5,000 Uyghurs were fighting in Syria, and several hundred had joined ISIS.
Kevork Almassian’s coverage of this event:
The US captured 22 Uyghur terrorists from combat zones in Afghanistan in 2006 because they were linked with Al Qaeda. They were imprisoned without trial for five to seven years in Guantanamo Bay, but then released into the US, despite warnings from politicians and complaints from the public fearing it was unsafe.
The US shot down a Turkish drone in Syria today, as reported by Mark Alfred of the Daily Beast.
A US F-16 downed a Turkish drone in northeast Syria after officials deemed it a threat to American forces.
Turkey, a NATO ally, has been carrying out air attacks on Kurdish militants who are supported by the US, and have 900 US troops nearby while occupying the Syrian oil and gas fields in the northeast.
The downing of the Turkish drone may raise tensions between the allies, with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin set to meet with Turkish officials.
The attack yesterday in Homs demonstrates the persistent efforts to destabilize Syria and terrorize its people. US sanctions have caused thousands of Syrian to risk deadly migrations by sea to Europe. President Obama, and his Vice President Joe Biden, launched a US-NATO attack on Syria in March 2011, which failed its goal of regime change, but succeeded in destroying the country.
*Featured Image: Mourners at funeral of massacred soldiers and their families. src: SANA
Steven Sahiounie is a Syrian journalist living in Latakia, Syria, and a two time recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism