Explosions Reported in Syrian, Iranian Weapons Depots in Southern Syria

A powerful explosion was heard in the northern countryside of Daraa province in southern Syria on Tuesday, which was believed to be a blast in arms depots of the Syrian army, a monitor group reported as quoted by Xinhua. The explosion rocked an area where arms depots are located in the northern sector of Daraa’s northern countryside near the town of Lajat, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding that it’s not yet clear whether the explosion was a result of a foreign attack or some technical error.

Other activists said Israel could be behind the bombing as it has carried out several missile attacks in the past on arms depots in Syria on the pretext that Iranian forces were located in the targeted sites.

The state media outlets are yet to comment on the explosion report.

Last week thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing bombardments by the Bashar Assad regime in southern Syria headed in the direction of the Jordanian border and Israeli borders. A United Nations report put the number of those heading towards Jordan at 270,000, Haaretz adds. In response to the crisis, the Jordanian government issued a statement saying that it would block entry to all Syrian refugees coming from Daraa to the Syria-Jordan border.

The Israeli army said last week that it transferred overnight humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees and to those currently living in makeshift encampments not far from the border with Israel. The shipment was made to camps in the south and center of the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

According to YNet, the Observatory, meanwhile, said calm prevails Daraa province except for artillery shelling that is targeting the town of Tafas, where the militants pledged alliance with the Islamic State (IS) group. Negotiations for settling the situation in Daraa have been ongoing between the Russian side, which is representing the Syrian government, and an array of rebel groups in that area.

The Observatory said some rebel groups accepted to reconcile with the government after handing over their weapons while the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other ultra-radical groups have rejected to evacuate toward northern Syria. The Syrian government has repeatedly accused Israel of backing the rebels in southern Syria, including in Daraa, the nearby countryside of Sweida province and in the province of Quneitra near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Thursday evening that “whoever drags us into a conflict will very much regret it,” in reference to the surge in tensions on Israel’s northern and southern border.

“Dangers are all around us—and the Air Force has a central role in thwarting them. The aggression in our region of Iran and its proxies is not fading. Iran has etched on its banner the desire to destroy us. I state unequivocally: We will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons,” the prime minister said as he delivered a speech during an Order of the Wings ceremony at the Hatzerim Air Base in south Israel, marking the conclusion of a pilots course from which 33 men and three women graduated.

“We will continue to take strong action against Iran’s plan to turn Syria into a deadly missile base against us,” he vowed.