In the earlier hours of August 12, a large ammo depot exploded in the town of Sarmada in the northern Idlib countryside, according to Syrian opposition sources. The Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham(HTS)-linked news agency Iba’a revealed that the ammo depot, which was hidden inside a civilian building and was owned by a local arms dealer named “Abu Yazan al-Homsi.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that 39 civilians, including 12 children and 9 women, were killed as result of the ammo depot explosion.
The cause of the explosion is yet to be known. However, local observers believe that the explosion could be the result of a sabotage operation by an armed group or even other arms dealers.
Last month, a similar explosion destroyed a large ammo depot of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) in the town of Eshtabraq in the northwestern Idlib countryside. Back then, several opposition activists accused foreign intelligence services of being responsible for the incident.
The explosion exposes the lawlessness in the northern governorate of Idlib, which is controlled by HTS and several Turkish-backed armed groups.