Blast reported at Syrian warehouse used by Iranian-backed militias

Monitoring group says unclear what caused explosion, with some Arabic-language media blaming Israel

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Smoke rises after a reported explosion near the town of Mhajja in southern Syria (Facebook photo)
Smoke rises after a reported explosion near the town of Mhajja in southern Syria (Facebook photo)

A powerful explosion was reported Tuesday at a warehouse in southern Syria used by forces fighting on behalf of the Assad regime.

Arab media said the blast occurred at a storage site used by Iranian militia groups in the Daraa province of southern Syria, where the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has been waging an intense offensive against rebel groups.

The facility was located on the on the Damascus-Daraa road, near the town of Mhajja.

Channel 10 news reported that several Arabic media sources attributed the explosion to an Israeli strike on the position.

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The Israeli military does not generally comment on alleged airstrikes in Syria, though Israeli leaders have repeatedly vowed to prevent Iran and its allies from entrenching themselves near Israel’s border

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was still not clear if the blast was the result of an attack, and if so, who was behind it.

Israel has warned of a growing Iranian military presence in neighboring Syria, which it sees as a threat to its safety. Israel’s military has carried out strikes on Iranian and Iran-affiliated targets in Syria, including weapons shipments to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group.

Last week Syrian state media said that two Israeli missiles struck near Damascus International Airport, without adding any details.

The IDF sent tanks and artillery cannons to the Syrian border on Sunday morning amid the renewed offensive by Assad’s forces, supported by Russian and Iranian military, against the remaining rebel holdouts in Syria’s southwest. Thousands of refugees from the fighting have headed towards the Israeli-Syrian border where Israel has provided some humanitarian relief.

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