Reports: Loud Blast Heard at Iranian Facility Near Syria's Aleppo

Conflicting reports about cause of explosion that Iranian media outlets say occurred at weapons depot allegedly used by Hezbollah

A photo released on April 14, 2018 on the Twitter page of Hezbollah's "Central War Media" account shows night footage of flares above Damascus
HANDOUT / STR/AFP

An explosion occurred on Saturday night at a weapons depot in the Syrian city of Aleppo, Iranian media outlets reported. Al-Arabiya reported that the facility was used by Hezbollah and pro-Iranian militias.

Hezbollah-affiliated media outlets said the reports referred to a controlled explosion.

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Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the German press agency dpa that it was still unclear if the blast was the result of an accidental explosion in a weapons depot or of an air attack. 

The reports came less than 24 hours after the U.S., France and the U.K. launched an attack on multiple Syrian targets in response to the Bashar Assad regime's chemical attack a week ago. The targets included research centers in Damascus believed to have produced chemical weapons.

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On Monday, an airstrike on Syria’s T-4 airbase near Homs resulted in the deaths of at least seven Iranian advisers, with Iran, Syria, and Russia blaming Israel. The T-4 airbase is one of the key sites where the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force is deployed in Syria. 

Then, on Friday, the Israeli military said that an Iranian drone that was downed by the air force after it infiltrated Israeli airspace in February had been armed with explosives and on its way to carry out an attack. 

Following the infiltration by the drone in February, Israel launched an airstrike on Syria, targeting the unmanned plane's command center and anti-aircraft batteries. During the attack an Israeli F-16 was downed over Israel by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile.