An Islamist group claimed the attack, but Aziz Asber was also a target of the Mossad.
The face of Aziz Asber was unknown to the general public until the announcement, Sunday, August 5, by a newspaper close to the Syrian regime, his death in an attack on his vehicle near the city of Masyaf, in the center of the Syria. Yet, this figure seems to have been a pillar of Syria’s chemical and military arsenal. Killed with his driver on Saturday evening, probably by the explosion of a machine positioned on the road he was driving, shortly after leaving his home, this physicist by training was an important figure of the Center for Studies and Scientific Research (ESRO), the entity responsible for the development and production of unconventional weapons, including chemical weapons and vector missiles.
Aziz Asber knew how to be discreet. Rare photographs of him circulate in the press. He is credited with being close to President Bashar Al-Assad. He also reportedly had close ties with Iran and Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite movement backed by Tehran. Originally from the region of Tartous – army breeding ground – he held two doctorates and would have studied in France. ESRB officials are part of the Syrian regime’s elite but are closely monitored. Their passports are in the hands of the security services and their movements subject to authorization.
An Islamist group, the Abu Amara Brigades, claimed responsibility for his assassination. Since 2017, these insurgents have carried out several attacks against senior Syrian officials or pro-regime militiamen. But several pro-government media see this operation as the hand of Israel. Opponents mention, for their part, the hypothesis of an internal liquidation.
This is the first time that a senior official of the ESRB has been eliminated in a manner reminiscent of the one used by the Israeli secret service, the Mossad, against the leaders of the nuclear program …