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On April 20 a large explosion took place in central Israel, at the facility of Tomer, a government-owned defense contractor.
As per the contractor, there were neither damages nor casualties, and the massive mushroom cloud that was seen was a “controlled test.”
The company, Tomer, produces a variety of propulsion systems for various missiles used by Israel.
Videos of the blast were widely shared on social media, prompting speculation that it was the result of a malfunction or sabotage, especially in light of ongoing tension between Israel and Iran. And Tehran’s state media had reports focused on the facility, which led to speculation that it was some form retaliatory attack after the blast in the Natanz facility.
The contractor still maintained that it was all planned, but there were none of the customary warnings in advance of the explosion and no confirmation by either the Ministry of Defense or the company after the fact.
Hours later, after midnight on April 22nd, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) warplanes launched missiles from the skies above the occupied Golan Heights. The targets were located near Damascus and remain unknown.
Syrian Air Defense systems intercepted most of the missiles, and then locked on to the IAF jets and attempted to down them.
This led to a Red Alert in southern Israel and to Syrian Air Defense hitting an open area near the nuclear center in Dimona.
Nearly an hour later, IAF fighter jets circled back and struck a Syrian Air Defense battery, destroying it. Four Syrian Arab Army soldiers were injured in the blast but no deaths were reported.
Separately, in northeastern Syria, a first-of-its-kind incident occurred – a US supply convoy was attacked en route to the Omar oil field on April 21.
The culprit is unknown. Some accused ISIS cells in southeastern Deir Ezzor of carrying out the attack. In neighboring Iraq, however, pro-Iranian forces have been carrying out similar attacks on US supply convoys for more than a year now.
Also, in northeast Syria, in the town of al-Qamishli, heavy clashes broke out between the pro-government Syrian National Defense Forces (NDF) and Asayish, the security wing of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Asayish claimed that NDF forces attacked one of its checkpoints near the Tayy district in the city.
In the course of the clashes, which lasted until the morning of April 21, Asayish units captured a number of NDF posts. Four fighters of the pro-government force were injured.
The fighting subsided when Russian Military Police intervened. Currently, the two groups are negotiating to restore stability in the town.