Large explosion near Syria’s Damascus international airport

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 07:24 GMT, Apr 27, 2017 |

A large explosion has hit an area near Damascus international airport which lies about 25 km (15 miles) south-east of Syria’s capital, said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“The blast was huge and could be heard in Damascus,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the group.

The explosion was reportedly followed by a large fire. There are no reports of any casualties. The cause of the blast on Thursday is unclear.

Al-Manar TV, run by Lebanon’s Shia militant movement Hezbollah, reports that the explosion may have been caused by an Israeli air strike. It said it had only caused material damage.

Air strikes, said to have been carried out by Israel, have hit sites in Syria on numerous occasions, reportedly targeting weapons shipments for Hezbollah.

Israeli intelligence minister, Israel Katz, said the strike near Damascus was “compatible with Israel’s policy” of preventing the transfer of arms.

The minister, who spoke on army radio, would not directly confirm Israel was responsible for the attack but said that Israel reserves the right to operate when required.