Syria weapons depot blast kills 12 civilians: monitor

Syria weapons depot blast kills 12 civilians: monitor

BEIRUT: An explosion of unknown origin at a weapons depot in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib killed at least 12 civilians on Sunday, a war monitor said.
On Sunday morning, rescue workers used a bulldozer to remove rubble and extract trapped people, the correspondent said.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor, said the death toll could rise as dozens were still missing.
“The explosion occurred in a weapons depot in a residential building in Sarmada,” the head of the Britain based monitor said.
But the cause of the blast was “not yet clear”, Abdel Rahman added.
Behind mounds of rubble, the facade of a building was scorched black, due to a fire after the blast.
But rescue workers had pulled out “five people who were still alive”, the source said.
Most of Idlib is controlled by rebels and jihadists led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, but the Islamic State group also has sleeper cells in the area.
The regime holds a small slither of southeastern Idlib.
In recent months, a series of explosions and assassinations — mainly targeting rebel officials and fighters — have rocked the province.
While some attacks have been claimed by IS, most are the result of infighting since last year between various other groups.
In recent days, regime forces have ramped up their deadly bombardment of southern Idlib and sent reinforcements to nearby areas they control.
President Bashar al-Assad has warned that government forces intend to retake Idlib, after his Russia-backed regime regained control of swathes of rebel held territory elsewhere.
Around 2.5 million people live in the province, half of them displaced by fighting in other parts of the country.
More than 350,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria´s civil war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests. Agencies


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here