On Saturday, the head of a Syrian research center was killed in a car bombing along with his driver near a village in the western countryside of Hama.
Aziz Asbar, the scientist killed in the bombing, held top-level positions in weapons manufacturing research, with allegations of heading a chemical weapons project that was used against civilians in rebel-held towns in Syria.
His work was involved most with the Bashar al-Assad government along with possible ties with the Hezbollah movement and Iran. Sources say that Asbar was currently working on retrofitting finished missiles with technology that would greatly increase their range and accuracy.
Israel’s history of assassinations point to the desired goal of preventing military technology that could be used to attack Israel proper. Since 2007, six Iranians with connections to Iran’s nuclear and missile program have been assassinated by the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency.
Israel has not commented on the assassination. However, outside sources all cite Israel’s motives for the attacks as an important indicator of the foreign agency that planned the assassination.
Asber’s work earned him free access to the presidential palace and cooperation with Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Iranian Quds Force.
Sources say Asber was targeted by Israel long before the civil war broke out. He has been identified as a key player in the Syrian weapons program for a number of years.
A rebel faction took responsibility for the attack, but their credibility has been called into question on whether they actually carried out the assassination.