Twenty-six soldiers have been killed in an explosion blamed on a technical error in central Syria, according to a Syrian pro-government newspaper.
On August 3, a large explosion rocked al-Sha’irat airbase in the eastern countryside of the central governroate of Homs.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said in a short press release that the explosion was a result of a technical error that occurred during the transfer of expired ammunition.
“The explosion occurred this afternoon as a result of a technical error during the transfer of expired ammunition and led to a number of martyrs,” the press release reads.
A Syrian military source told the RT TV that 28 Syrian soldiers and officers were killed in the explosion, which also caused heavy material damage in the airbase.
Located in the heart of Syria, al-Sha’irat is one of the key airbases of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF). In 2017, a U.S. missiles strike targeted the airbase in response to the alleged Khan Shaykhun chemical attack. However, the airbase returned to service within a few hours.
Last year, a similar accident occurred in Hama airbase. Several ammo depots inside the airbase were completely destroyed as a result of poor safety measures.
The US targeted the air base in 2017 following a chemical weapons attack on opposition areas that Washington blamed on Damascus.