Fighter jet in Syrian airspace (file) j
Fighter jet in Syrian airspace (file) j Reuters

At least 11 members of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s coaltion were killed and dozens more were wounded in mysterious blasts Friday at the Hama air base, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor group.

The Observatory said the casualties included both Syrians and foreign nationals.

The Sky News Arabia news outlet reported that the explosions were caused by an attack on an advanced Iranian air defense system. It said that the strike targeted an Iranian Bavar 373 long-range missile defense system, a state-of-the-art model that was unveiled in 2016 and which Iranians compared to the Russian S-300 system.

However, the Lebanese el-Nashra TV station cited Syrian military sources as saying 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. According to reports, there were several explosions near the airfield which were followed by a larger one inside the airfield.

The Hama2 news page said that the explosions likely included an arms depot.

On April 29, Israeli Air Force F-15 planes reportedly launched missile strikes on Syrian regime bases in the Hama and Aleppo countryside. According to the reports, about 25 people were killed, most of them Iranians, and 35 others were injured. About 200 missiles were reportedly destroyed.