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Blasts heard near Russia's Hmeimim airbase in Syria

Blasts heard near Russia's Hmeimim airbase in Syria's Latakia province
2 min read
21 July, 2023
Images of black smoke billowing from areas around northwest Syria's Latakia province are said to have been a result of drone strikes.
The Hmeimim airbase is Russia's main operational base in Syria [Getty/archive]

Several blasts were heard around regime-held areas in northwestern Syria on Thursday and near the Russian Hmeimim airbase, amid conflicting reports about their cause.

A drone attack on the Russian airbase - located in the Latakia province - was the cause of the explosions, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Shrapnel fell on civilian areas resulting in some injuries and material damage following Russian fire, the observatory said.

A Facebook page called the "Jableh Port" reported that a drone was shot down in Jableh, a coastal town in Latakia, while another drone or missile fell in Hmeimim. It did not confirm whether there were any casualties.

Images widely shared on social media by Syrian activists, journalists and others purportedly showed black smoke billowing from the Hmeimim and Jableh area.

The New Arab could not verify the images.

Syrian state-run media put the blasts down to military exercises in the Jableh area.

Latakia has largely been spared from Syria’s 12-year conflict, with attacks rarely happening there.

The Bassel Al-Assad International Airport was partially transformed into the Hmeimim military base for Russia following its intervention in the Syrian civil war in 2015 to support the Syrian regime.

More than half a million people are believed to have died as a result of the war, which began when Bashar Al-Assad's forces brutally cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.