Beirut – Several large explosions from unknown origin struck large military and weapon storage facilities in Safira area south of Aleppo. News regarding the explosions conflicted. While the regime claimed it was a technical error, opposition sources said that it is likely the doing of a defector soldier.
A source at the Syrian opposition told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that these factories are situated on a large area of southeast of Aleppo and includes three military factories including one for ground-to-ground missiles.
He added that the explosions damaged all buildings in the facilities causing a rebound effect that was felt at the Turkish boarders.
Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) barely reported the news with its correspondent in Aleppo confirming that the explosions happened due to technical error and were later contained. SANA denied all the news that were being circulated about the explosions.
Media sources reported that a series of explosions occurred in Safira area at the defense factories for no apparent reason.
Facebook users posted videos about the incident that they claimed were taken from Idlib countryside. Media activists reported that the blast was seen from nearby governorates.
‘Aleppo 24’ page posted a video saying the explosions were unprecedented. Sources even reported an explosion in a chamber of a ground-to-ground missile factory which led to the explosions at the other factories.
Syrian regime lost control of the defense factories in 2012 before launching a military campaign in the Fall of 2013. The regime tightened its control over the area, considered now a vital passage towards Aleppo.
The defense factories area was transformed into a military base for the regime forces and after regaining control over Kuweires airport, it became a heliport where helicopters stock on weapons and empty them them over neighborhoods controlled by the opposition.
Online pages affiliated with Syrian regime confirmed that the explosions were due to the heat and weather changes. They also denied the news regarding the death of 150 militants loyal to the regime.
A source from the Syrian opposition told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the explosions destroyed six helicopters, burned 15 T52 and T72 tanks and killed 175 soldiers. He said that the names of the dead soldiers were documented by pages affiliated with regime.
Reporter of “We Are Aleppo” page said that all helicopters were burned because of the unknown explosions.
Media sources said that it is likely for the explosions to have happened at the research centers, weapons manufacturing areas.
Witnesses said they heard 15 explosions at various areas inside the factories and saw flames which led to an increase in temperature in the area. Citizens had to evacuate the surrounding area.
No party claimed responsibility for the explosions and no helicopters were seen hovering at the time.