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Iran Press TV

Wildfires cause explosion at Syrian military zone in Damascus suburbs

Iran Press TV

Sat Jun 15, 2019 06:09PM

Syria's official news agency SANA says an explosion at a Syrian army ammunition depot in a military zone northwest of the capital Damascus was caused by wildfires.

"An ammunition depot for the Syrian army in northwestern Damascus exploded after a fire in nearby fields started spreading," a military source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told SANA on Saturday.

The report added that the ammunition depot was located in a military zone in Dummar district, which is located in the northwestern flank of Damascus.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the explosion wounded eight pro-government forces, with some of them being in critical condition.

The development came on the same day that Syrian government forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, made fresh gains in the country's northwest, tightening the grip on members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

Syrian army troops and their allies managed to take control of several strategic areas in Hama and Idlib provinces, dealing heavy blows to the foreign-sponsored terrorists.

The Damascus government says militants positioned in the two provinces are attacking army bases and residential areas in flagrant violation of a truce.

The Syrian army has warned that any possible large-scale attack by terror groups would mark their end. The stern warning comes amid reports that Takfiris are preparing to launch new attacks on government-held areas in the western part of the country.

Under a deal reached following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on September 17, 2018, all militants in a demilitarized zone, which surrounds Idlib and also parts of the adjacent provinces of Aleppo and Hama, were supposed to pull out heavy arms by October 17, and Takfiri groups had to withdraw by October 15 last year.

The National Front for the Liberation of Syria is the main Turkish-backed militant alliance in the Idlib region, but the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist group, which is a coalition of different factions of terror outfits, largely composed of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, holds a large part of the province and the zone.

The HTS, which is said to be in control of some 60 percent of Idlib province, has yet to announce its stance on the buffer zone deal.

It is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 members of different factions of armed groups, which Syria, Russia and Turkey consider terrorists, are active in the volatile province, which is home to around three million inhabitants.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc on the country.

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