Pro-Assad media blames Israel's Mossad for assassination of chemical weapons chief

09 August, 2018, 08:59 | Author: Kim Reid
  • The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad has been accused of killing a top research director at a military agency linked to Syria’s chemical weapons program

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 auto.

The Syrian opposition blamed [Saturday's] attack on the Assad regime, claiming [Asbar] was very familiar with Syria's chemical weapons deployment and its use against civilians.

The New York Times on Monday quoted "a senior official from a Middle Eastern intelligence agency" as saying that Israel was behind the assassination. "Gen. Qassim Suleimani, commander of Iran's Quds Force, and other Iranians to begin production of precision-guided missiles in Syria by retrofitting heavy Syrian SM600 Tishreen rockets". Israeli officials, past and present, had refused to comment on the accusations, although Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman has sought to downplay the possibility of Israeli involvement.

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After the Syrian government carried out what independent inspectors said was a sarin gas attack that killed as many as 100 people in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in 2017, Washington also imposed sanctions on 271 individuals associated with the centre.

A auto explosion took the life of Aziz Asber, the man who chaired the chemical weapons plant in Syria.

The Abu Amara Brigades released a statement on their Telegram online channel that said they "planted explosive devices" which detonated and killed Asber.

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The Iranian presence in Syria - increasingly spreading south towards the Golan Heights - is one of Israel's greatest concerns, as it fears that after the conflict winds down, fighters will turn their energy to Israel.

The Britain-based watchdog group said the man had close ties with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran.

Russian Federation has been working to bring back United Nations truce observers into the area, but Israel continues to assert that it will take whatever action it sees fit to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent foothold in Syria, along its borders and elsewhere.

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