BEIRUT: At least 11 pro-government fighters were killed as explosions ripped through weapons and fuel depots Friday at a regime military air base in central Syria, a monitor said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blasts in Hama province were likely due to a “technical problem.”
“The explosions struck several regime depots of weapons and fuel at Hama military airport,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.
“They were probably caused by a technical problem,” he said.
Eleven regime forces were killed, including members of allied militias, and dozens more wounded or still unaccounted for, Abdel Rahman said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the deaths included Syrian government troops and allied militiamen.
Official Syrian state media also reported massive explosions heard near the Hama air base but did not provide any details.
The Hama air base is used by government warplanes that carry out airstrikes on central and northern Syria.
Tensions are high in Syria after several Israeli bombing raids in recent weeks on regime positions, as well as on military instillations reportedly used by government ally Iran.
The latest wave came in the early hours of May 10, when Israel carried out dozens of raids against what it said were “Iranian” targets in Syria.
It has repeatedly threatened to act if Iran developed an entrenched military presence in southern Syria, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
More than 350,000 people have been killed since Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011 with protests that have since spiraled into a brutal war.