Housed missiles for advanced Iranian air defense system – yet Syria hasn’t blamed anyone and has barely acknowledged the explosions.
Israel repeatedly has bombed Iranian missile and weapons depots in Syria, along with other Iranian assets. In most of the cases Syria is quick to blame Israel, and Israel is silent.
When Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighters fired dozens of rockets at Israel recently, Israel wiped out 50 or so Iranian targets and was public in claiming credit.
A couple of days ago there was a massive series of explosions at a Syrian military airport serving as a weapons storage facility for Iranian missiles. The video is as dramatic as we have seen, with enormous plumes of smoke rising high in the sky:
— Danny Makki (@Dannymakkisyria) May 18, 2018
Syria did not blame Israel and has not come up with an explanation, though there have been suggestions it was an accident caused by high heat. Reuters reported:
Explosions were heard in and around Syria’s Hama airport on Friday, Syrian state media said, without elaborating on the cause of the blasts, and a monitoring body said 11 pro-government troops were killed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the series of explosions happened inside Hama’s military airport and had been heard in Hama city. Eleven people had died and dozens were missing from among Syrian government and allied forces.
“Five blasts at least were heard inside Hama military airport … targeting ammunition and fuel depots,” the Observatory added.
The war monitor said it wasn’t clear whether the blasts had been caused by technical failure inside the depots or an attack. Thick plumes of smoke could be seen above the airport, it said.
It’s suspicious because, as Sky News Arabia (via Times of Israel) reported, the depot stored the missiles for an advanced Iranian anti-aircraft system modeled on the Russian S-300 platform:
The Sky News Arabia outlet reported that the explosions were caused by an attack on an advanced Iranian air defense system.
However, Syrian military sources told the Lebanese el-Nashra TV station that the blasts were caused by a “technical malfunction” at a weapons storage depot.
There were no immediate comments by Syrian officials on who or what was behind the explosions.
The blasts came soon after midday, as the region is experiencing a scorching heat wave. Almost all previous Israeli airstrikes on targets in Syria have been late at night or in the pre-dawn hours.
According to Sky News, the target of the strike was an Iranian Bavar 373 long-range missile defense system, a state-of-the-art model that was unveiled in 2016 and put into service in March 2017. Iranian officials compare the system to the Russian-made S-300 system, which is considered a powerful air defense platform.
A previously unknown group is claiming they infiltrated the base, though that cannot be verified:
Saraya al-Jihad takes responsibility for the massive explosion at the #Hama airbase in #Syria. The group distributed pictures taken from within the airbase. They claim their men infiltrated the base and carried out the attack. pic.twitter.com/ACq4or1zxJ
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) May 19, 2018
So who done it?
It’s a mystery. Whoever it is, Syria and Iran don’t seem anxious to point the finger or even to acknowledge another Iranian loss in Syria.
Want me to guess?
I think Israeli intelligence managed to sabotage the facility, and the Syrians and Iranians know it.DONATE
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