'Mossad behind assassination of Syrian scientist'

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman looks at Syria from the Golan Heights

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman looks at Syria from the Golan Heights

The Mossad is responsible for carrying out the assassination of Aziz Esbar, one of Syria's most important rocket scientists, the New York Times reported. Israeli officials refused to comment about the charges.

A Syrian scientist at the head of a research center reportedly linked to arms development and alleged to have been previously struck by Israel was killed in a bombing incident, according to Syrian media on Sunday.Aziz Azbar, head of the Scientific Research and Studies Center in Masyaf, also known by its French acronym "CERS", was killed alongside his driver in the attack on Saturday night, Syrian and Lebanese media reported.Azbar was said to have been struck whilst driving when a pedestrian reportedly attached a bombing device to the scientists vehicle.

The Syrian Scientific Research Centre has always been a focus of worldwide efforts to curtail Syria's capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons.

Israel's Mossad on Sunday was accused by a pro-regime Syrian paper of killing a top research director at a military facility with reported links to chemical arms development.

His center was the target of Israeli air attacks last month and in September, the Observatory added.

In an interview on army radio on Tuesday, Israel's Intelligence and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz welcomed Asbar's "departure from the world". Every time they try to place the blame on us. Indeed, the New York Times describes Asbar as having a mission: "amassing an arsenal of precision-guided missiles that could be launched with pinpoint accuracy against Israeli cities hundreds of miles away".

Asbar headed the Maysaf research centre in Hama, which was hit by Israeli air strikes last month and in September past year, the Observatory said.

Early 2017 marked the low point for Bashar Assad in his country's now seven-year-old civil war with his authority confined to just 17 percent of national territory. Some Israeli reports said the Syrian scientist was involved in Iranian missile programme.

A succession of victories since then over both the Daesh terror group and various rebel factions has extended regime control to almost two-thirds of the country.

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