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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Explosions rock Syrian military airbase in Hama

Cause of blasts not yet clear but they follow a string of recent Israeli air strikes in Syria

A Syrian rebel fires a mortar during a battle with government forces east of Hama city on November 20, 2017. Explosions were heard at the Hama military airbase on May 18, 2018, just days after rebels in a besieged enclave between Hama and Homs left under an evacuation deal with the government. Omar Haj Kadour / AFP
A Syrian rebel fires a mortar during a battle with government forces east of Hama city on November 20, 2017. Explosions were heard at the Hama military airbase on May 18, 2018, just days after rebels in a besieged enclave between Hama and Homs left under an evacuation deal with the government. Omar Haj Kadour / AFP

Explosions rocked weapon and fuel depots at a regime military airbase in central Syria Friday, a monitor said, adding that the cause of the blasts was not yet clear.

"The explosions struck several regime depots of weapons and fuel at Hama military airport," Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said.

Official Syrian state media also reported massive explosions near Hama and pictures posted on social media showed a huge plume of grey smoke billowing into the sky.

Amid speculation of another Israeli strike against military targets in Syria, Mr Abdel Rahman said it was not yet clear what caused the blasts.

Israel has carried out several air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria in recent weeks, with the latest wave coming a week ago and bringing the region closer to a major flare-up.

Iran is one of the Syrian government's key allies and has forces positioned across the country.

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