Vehicle bomb kills prominent rocket scientist in Syria

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

A senior scientist for the Syrian regime involved in the country's development of weapons was killed along with his driver in a vehicle explosion in central Syria, activists reported Sunday.

Asbar was not among them, perhaps because he was associated with Syria's missile program rather than the development of chemical weapons.

Israeli sources are reporting that the country's intelligence suspected Azbar of leading a classified weapons development programme called Sector 4 at the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, and was busy re-building an underground weapons factory to replace the one said to have been destroyed by Israel a year ago.

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Mr Asber's death was claimed by the Abu Amara brigade, a rebel group based in the northwest province of Idlib, most of which has joined the formerly al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir...

However, citing a senior official from a Middle Eastern intelligence agency, the Times reports that the bomb was actually planted by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service.

Syria on Tuesday accused Israel of assassinating a top Syrian rocket scientist over the weekend, heightening the growing tensions between the two countries as Syrian government troops restore control over areas bordering Israel.

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According to the Times, Esber "was said to have free access to the presidential palace in Damascus and had been collaborating with Maj".

'I can say that assuming the details of this man's activities are correct and he was engaged in developing chemical weapons and longer-range missiles capable of hitting Israel, I certainly welcome his demise'.

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

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"It was previously reported the chemical weapons development facility supplied weapons to the Assad army and Lebanon-based Hezbollah".

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