Syria : Reports — Head of Chemical Weapons Program Assassinated

5 August 2018 – MESOP / eaworldview – Scott Lucas – The head of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons program has reportedly been assassinated in a car bombing in western Syria.

Aziz Azbar (pictured), the head of the Syrian Scientific Research and Studies Center in Masyaf, and his driver were killed on Saturday night, according to Syrian and Lebanese news outlets and a Facebook page purportedly linked to the regime’s military.

There was no official comment.

Israel has carried out at least two airstrikes on the Center, including one in late April that killed Iranian personnel and another on July 22. The US fired missiles on the complex on April 14, a week after the regime’s chemical weapons attacks on Douma in East Ghouta near Damascus. The Center is believed to stockpile chemical agents and missiles with chemical warheads. It has been closed to international inspectors — despite the regime’s promise to dismantle the chemical weapons program — after the Assad regime’s sarin attacks near Damascus that killed at least 1,400 people in August 2013.

Israel believes that Iran is pursuing a missile operation at the site. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that all Iranian military personnel withdraw from Syria.

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