Blast in Syria's Idlib, 50 civilians dead
50 people, including children, have been killed after an explosion at a arms depot in Syria's Idlib.
Buildings full of civilians in the town of Sarmada were reduced to rubble.
It is thought the munitions depot may have been created within a five-storey residential building.
The arms depot was located in the basement of an apartment building, the explosion resulted in the building’s destruction and many victims. The depot presumably belonged to an arms dealer, the cause of the blast is yet to be determined, according to the source.
After Sunday’s explosion, rescuers used bulldozers to remove the rubble and pull out trapped people.
Many of the dead and the injured are believed to have been Syrians already displaced by the civil war from the central Homs province.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately known.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) in Feb 27 announced that 156 terrorists were killed in clashes between terrorist groups in Idlib and Aleppo.
Also late last month, Syrian President Bashar Assad pointed out that the liberation of Idlib, which sits on the border with Turkey, was among the priorities for the Syrian military's operations.
Since 2017, the Idlib province has been included in the northern de-escalation zone created under the Astana reconciliation process. Most of the province is currently occupied by a disparate collection of militant groups, including al-Nusra Front.* With the liberation of broad areas of southern Syria earlier this month, Idlib has become one of the last anti-government strongholds in Syria.
In July dozens of buses have arrived in Kefraya and al-Foua, both in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province, as part of an evacuation deal to get locals out of the Shia-majority towns, which have long been besieged by foreign-backed militants.
In April 2017, thousands of Kefraya and al-Foua residents were bussed out to government-held areas in a swap that granted, in exchange, safe passage to hundreds of people living in two militant-held towns near Damascus, Madaya and Zabadani.
About 1.2 million Syrian refugees have returned to their homes since September 2015.