Senior scientist assassinated in central Syria

Syrian scientist Aziz Azbar

Britain-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at the time said the strikes hit the Scientific Studies and Research Centre facility, the agency the U.S. describes as Syria's chemical weapons manufacturer.

Aziz Asber, the head of the Scientific Research Center in Syria's central province of Hama, was assassinated late on Saturday, according to activists and pro-government reports.

Israel has carried out numerous raids inside Syria since 2017, according to the Observatory, targeting regime forces and their allies from Iran and Lebanese movement Hezbollah.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syria war through local contacts, also reported Esber's death.

A Syrian scientist has reportedly been assassinated in a auto bomb attack after he survived Israeli attacks on his research center.

Local sources said a roadside bomb exploded and killed Esber and his driver in the area, which is located 100 kilometers north of Damascus; other reports said a bomb was attached to Esber's vehicle, alaraby.co.uk reported.

The attack on Asber was claimed by a Syrian rebel group affiliated to Tahrir al-Sham, a rebel group.

Western and Israeli intelligence agencies have long linked the SSRC to Syria's chemical weapons program.

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.

Israel is believed to be behind airstrikes targeting the center's facilities in Masyaf, Hama, last month.

The claim was denied by the government, which said it had no chemical weapons since 2013, despite several instances of the gas being used. Asbar was not among the targeted individuals. It posted a video reportedly filmed by the extremists of Muhanad, seated and with his arms bound, saying he was about to be killed because talks had failed with the Druze, a minority group that is predominant in Sweida.

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