About 20 Syrian soldiers, including officers, were killed in an explosion at Shirat airport in the eastern Homs suburbs. However, the Syrian Human Rights Monitoring Organization reported seven deaths at the site, including a militia affiliated with the Assad regime.The Syrian News Agency claims the blast was caused by a technical malfunction. Syrian regime media also reported that "the blast was the result of an error in transferring an expired IED at the Shirat airport." It also claimed that the number of fatalities will likely increase.Shirat Airport is considered one of the largest military airports in Syria. In April 2017, the site was attacked by the U.S. Air Force, which dispatched 59 tomahawk missiles towards the airport in an attempt to destroy aircraft allegedly used by the Syrian Army for chemical weapons in the Khan Sheikhun area. Opposition reports say that the planes that used chemical weapons came out of this airport.