Report: Blast kills head of Syrian arms research program

August 05, 2018 - 7:44 am

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian newspaper says the director of a military research agency linked to Syria's chemical weapons program has been assassinated.

The pro-government al-Watan newspaper reported on its website Sunday that Aziz Esber, of the Scientific Studies and Research Center, died in a blast targeting his car the previous night, in Syria's Hama province.

It says Israel is suspected of carrying out the attack. Israel is believed to be behind airstrikes targeting the center's facilities in Masyaf, Hama, last month.

In April, the U.S., Britain, and France carried out joint airstrikes against the center's Damascus facilities in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by government forces near the capital.

Syria's government denies using chemical weapons.

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