Auto bomb kills prominent rocket scientist in Syria

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He was killed by a auto bomb Saturday night in Masyaf, and Syria was quick to allege Israel's spy agency, Mossad, was behind it.

The paper claimed that Israel's national intelligence agency, the Mossad, was suspected of carrying out the attack. 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.

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. "Every time, they try to place the blame on us", Lieberman told Israel's Channel 2 News. "So we won't take this too seriously".

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It is also said that the brigade of special objective Abu Amara, who has previously attacked the facilities under the control of Assad, said in a Telegram that it had set and detonated the explosive devices to kill Asbera. The center has been targeted in two air attacks that have been attributed to Israel, including one in April that killed several Iranians.

Israel has carried out numerous strikes inside Syria since 2017, targeting government forces and their allies from Iran and Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

"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". Syria is thought to have acquired an arsenal of Russian and North Korean made Scuds as well as a host of locally produced rockets.

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Initial reports indicate that Azbar's auto was blown up after a passerby affixed a bomb to the vehicle.

A Hamas rocket scientist was shot dead by gunmen in Malaysia in April and a drone engineer was killed in Tunisia in December 2016. According to the Times of Israel, Azbar was not on the blacklist.

The scientific center, run by Azbar, had been the target of at least two Israeli aerial assaults over the past months.

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Syria splintered into civil war in 2011 when Assad's regime violently repressed demonstrations against his rule during the pro-democracy Arab spring.

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