Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A prominent rocket scientist in Syria was killed by a car bomb on Saturday in the city of Masaf.
Dr. Aziz Asbar, one of the directors of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Cente, was killed along with his driver as the two left Asbar's home.
According to The New York Times, an unnamed Middle Eastern intelligence official said Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, was responsible for the bombing. The official said Mossad had been tracking Asbar, who was allegedly in charge of re-building an underground weapons factory that the Israeli military destroyed last year.
Although a Syrian rebel group affiliated with Tahrir al-Sham claimed responsibility for the attack, the Israeli military has been active in the area of Masaf, launching several airstrikes over the past three months as part of the US-led coalition to fight Islamic State.
Asbar's killing marks the fourth time in three years that Mossad is suspected of assassinating a weapons engineer on foreign soil.
In April, Fadi al-Batsh, a Palestinian engineer and university lecturer who reportedly brokered an arms deal between Hamas and North Korea, was shot dead in Malaysia. Mossad agents were suspected in the killing. But the Israeli government denied any involvement.