On May 1 morning, a large explosion rocked a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) base in the eastern suburbs of Homs city in the country’s central region.
Ammunition stored inside the base, known as “Ibn al-Haytham Barracks,” began blowing up as a result of the explosion. Shrapnel and debris from the ammunition explosions fell on populated areas in Homs’ city center.
Dr. Hassan Al-Jundi, Health Director of Homs, told the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) that ten civilians were injured with falling debris.
Initially, Homs Governor Talal al-Barrazi said the explosion may have been the result of an attack. However, the Defense Ministry of Syria later dismissed the possibility of an attack, attributing the explosion to a “human error.”
“At 9:25 of 1-5-2020, successive explosions were heard at one of our military positions in the city of Homs, after investigations, it was revealed that the explosions occurred due to a human error during the transportation of some ammunition, which resulted in material and human losses,” the MoD said in an official statement.
Per usual, opposition sources questioned the government’s story, claiming that Israel was behind the explosion. A day earlier, Israeli helicopters targeted several positions in southern Syria. Nevertheless, there is no evidence indicating that a strike caused the explosion in the Ibn al-Haytham Barracks in Homs.
During the last few years, several similar accidents took place in military bases in different parts of Syria as a result of poor safety measures.
A series of large explosions resulting from an uncontrolled fire wiped out several ammo depots in the Hama Air Base in May of 2018. In August of 2019, more than 28 Syrian service members were killed in an ammo handling accident in the al-Sha’irat Air Base.