After Scientist Aziz Asbar's Murder, Syria Accuses Israel's Mossad

Syrian sites on the funeral of Aziz Asbar in the town of Wadi al Oyoun on Sunday

Syrian sites on the funeral of Aziz Asbar in the town of Wadi al Oyoun on Sunday

Aziz Asbar, who the Times describes as "one of Syria's most important rocket scientists", and Israel's Haaretz calls "a senior Syrian chemical weapons scientist" was killed Saturday night in the city of Masyaf in northwestern Syria along with his personal driver.

"We don't of course comment on reports of this kind and I'm not going to comment now", Mr. Katz told Israeli army radio.

Asbar, the research director at Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center, was believed to be developing a secret weapons manufacturing facility with the help of Iran, which was to be used to manufacture precision-guided missiles in Syria. "Every time, they try to place the blame on us", Lieberman told Israel's Channel 2 News.

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

Israel frequently attacks military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats against Syrian government forces.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said his agency had been informed of the operation, and that Mossad had been tracking Azbar for a long time.

An Israeli air strike also targeted Asbar's research centre on July 22, Syrian state media reported.

Syria's al-Watan daily newspaper said that Asbar was killed because of his "important" work on Syrian defense systems, writing in a commentary published on Tuesday that "yet again the Israeli enemy has assassinated one of the greatest Syrian minds".

Early 2017 marked the low point for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country's now seven-year-old civil war with his authority confined to just 17 percent of national territory.

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