Explosions rock Syrian military airbase in Hama

Cause of blasts not yet clear but they follow a string of recent Israeli air strikes in Syria

Syrian rebel fighters battle government forces near the village of Arafa, east of the city of Hama, in the central Hama province, on November 20, 2017. 
More than 330,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, which began in 2011 as the regime brutally crushed anti-government protests. Millions have been displaced. / AFP PHOTO / OMAR HAJ KADOUR

Explosions rocked weapon and fuel depots at a regime military airbase in central Syria Friday, a monitor said, adding that the cause of the blasts was not yet clear.

"The explosions struck several regime depots of weapons and fuel at Hama military airport," Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said.

Official Syrian state media also reported massive explosions near Hama and pictures posted on social media showed a huge plume of grey smoke billowing into the sky.

Amid speculation of another Israeli strike against military targets in Syria, Mr Abdel Rahman said it was not yet clear what caused the blasts.

Israel has carried out several air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria in recent weeks, with the latest wave coming a week ago and bringing the region closer to a major flare-up.

Iran is one of the Syrian government's key allies and has forces positioned across the country.

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