Report: Top Syrian Scientist Killed in Explosion

Fire can be seen during an explosion at the Syrian side of the Israeli-Syrian border, July 25. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)

Reports overnight Motzoei Shabbos said that a top Syrian scientist who had been assisting Iran was killed in an explosion. Aziz Asbar, director of scientific research at Al-Massayef weapons center, was reportedly killed outside his house, according to Arab media.

Asbar was considered a close confidante of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He had been working with both Syria and Iran on the development of long- and mid-range missiles. He was considered the second most important researcher on ballistic missiles in Syria, according to Western intelligence sources quoted in the online forum Intellitimes.

Asbar worked at the “4000 Institute” of Al-Massayef, which is responsible for the development of ballistic missiles and other weapons. The Al-Arabiya network said that Israel had attacked the institution in the past because of the involvement of Iranian officials in the development of the missiles. The network said that an Israeli attack took place as recently as last month. The Syrian government has not yet commented on the explosion.