Pro-Assad Media Blames Israel's Mossad for Assassination of Chemical Weapons Chief

Syrian daily newspaper al-Watan, owned by President Assad's cousin, placed blame for Saturday's attack on Israel, after a Syrian rebel group claimed credit for it

Syrian daily newspaper al-Watan blamed Israel's espionage agency, Mossad, for the attack that killed a senior Syrian chemical weapons scientist Saturday.

Dr. Aziz Asber, ran a scientific development center in the northwestern city of Masyaf was killed when his car exploded. The blast also killed his personal driver.

Al -Watan's owner is Syrian President Bashar Assad's cousin, Rami Makhlouf.

Dr. Asber ran the northern bureau for research and science and was considered close to several power players in the Assad regime.

Photo of Asbar distributed on social media

The attack on Asber was claimed by a Syrian rebel group affiliated to Tahrir al-Sham, a rebel group. It includes the group formerly known as the Nusra Front, which served as al Qaeda's Syrian branch. 

The Abu Amara Brigades released a statement on their Telegram online channel that said they "planted explosive devices" which detonated and killed Asber. 

Several strikes on Masyaf have been attributed to Israel in recent years, the last of which was on July 22.

The Syrian opposition blamed the attack on the Assad regime, claiming Asber was very familiar with Syria's chemical weapons deployment and its use against civilians. 

It was previously reported the chemical weapons development facility supplied weapons to the Assad army and Lebanon-based Hezbollah.