Many Syrian troops loyal to President Assad and Iranian troops assisting them were killed in a missile strike that targeted several locations.

The Syrian military said facilities in Hama and Aleppo provinces were struck.

It did not say if there were any casualties. But a UK-based monitoring group said four Syrians and 22 foreigners, mostly Iranians, died.

It is not known who was behind the attacks. But Western nations and Israel have previously hit sites in Syria.

Earlier this month, the US, UK and France bombed three facilities they said were associated with the Syrian government’s alleged chemical weapons programme.

Israel is meanwhile alleged to have hit an airbase reportedly serving as an Iranian drone command centre and containing an advanced Iranian air defence system.

The office of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will issue a statement on Monday evening on a “significant development” regarding the nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran.

A Syrian military source cited by the official Sana news agency did not identify any specific locations, saying only that the military sites were “exposed… to a new aggression” at 22:30 (19:30 GMT).

The source added that the strikes came after “terrorist organisations” had suffered defeats in the countryside around the capital, Damascus, an apparent reference to the recent recapture of the Eastern Ghouta region from rebel groups.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based monitoring group, said one strike appeared to have targeted a depot for surface-to-surface missiles at the 47th Brigade military base, south of the city of Hama.

The pro-opposition Orient News website also reported that large explosions were seen coming from what were believed to be ammunition caches at the base.

Opposition media activist Mohammed Rasheed told the Associated Press that debris from the explosion at the depot struck parts of Hama and that residents of areas near the base fled their homes.

Missiles are also reported to have hit locations in the Salhab area, west of Hama city, and the area surrounding Nairab military airport, which is close to the city of Aleppo and its international airport.

The SOHR reported that 26 soldiers were killed, the majority of them Iranians. Over 60 were injured, several of them seriously and many were still missing. Iranian state-run news services stated that “reports of killed Iranian troops were baseless.”

It is believed but has not been confirmed that the missiles were fired by the Israelis.

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