Hezbollah, Syria and NYTimes accuse Mossad of assassination in Syria of prominent missile scientist; Lieberman: Every time it seems one of them seeks to settle a score, they try to point the finger at Israel. We don’t take it too seriously.
Syria, Hezbollah and the New York Times accused Israel’s national intelligence agency, Mossad, of carrying out an assassination on a Syrian rocket scientist over the weekend.
Aziz Asbar was killed in a car bomb on Saturday alongside his driver outside of Masyaf, the location of a major Syrian army weapon development facilities. The New York Times cited a “senior official” of the Middle Eastern intelligence agency confirming the operation was carried out by Mossad. The source claimed Mossad was tracking Asbar for months before the assassination.
The source also reported that Israel targeted Asbar as he had access to “Sector 4”, a secret weapons development unit at the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center. The scientist was a strong supporter of Assad’s regime and heavily involved in the Syrian army missile program. He reportedly worked extensively on improving Syrian missile capabilities, mainly precision-guided missiles, including the Syrian SM600 Tishreen rocket, and was also involved in rebuilding a Syrian underground facility previously destroyed in Israel Air Force strikes.
Asbar collaborated frequently with Iran, including with commander of the Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.
Both the Ministry of Defense and the Prime Minister’s Office refused to comment on the reports. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated “Hundreds of explosions take place in the Middle East every day. Every time it seems one of them seeks to settle a score, they try to point the finger at Israel. We don’t take it too seriously.”