Asbar headed the research centre in Hama's Masyaf which was targeted in Israeli air strikes last month
08 August, 2018, 20:44
A senior Syrian scientist involved in the Assad regime's chemical weapons program was assassinated in Syria.
The explosion occurred on Saturday night, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitoring group said. It said he specialized in developing rocket systems at the center's Masyaf facility in Hama.
Local sources said a roadside bomb exploded and killed Esber and his driver in the area, which is located 100 kilometers north of Damascus.
The opposition Abu Amara Special Missions group claimed responsibility for the killings, which pro-government outlets described as an "assassination".
The attack was claimed by a Syrian group affiliated with the Tahrir al-Sham rebels.
In April, missile strikes by the United States, Britain and France destroyed a Syrian Scientific Research Centre facility in Damascus, in response to a suspected poison gas attack.
The Masyaf facility has previously been hit by what the Syrian government said were Israeli strikes in July and past year in September.
The Syrian government, backed by Russian Federation, has denied using, or possessing, chemical weapons.
Western intelligence agents have said the organisation is linked to a Syrian chemical weapons programme. Asbar was not among the targeted individuals. As reported TASS, the center has twice been bombed by the Israeli air force, which operated out of Lebanese airspace.
The IS militants have been demanding in negotiations with the government the release of 150 captured IS fighters as well as a corridor for the militants to escape to the desert in eastern Syria in exchange for the hostages.
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