Media: The U.S. is certain that Russia knew of Syrian army's chemical weapon attack

U.S. authorities are confident that Russia was aware of the Syrian army’s plans to carry out a chemical attack in the village of Khan Shaykhun in the province of Idlib, as reported by the Associated Press (AP), citing an undisclosed American official.

According to him, the Pentagon is confident that the appearance of a Russian drone in the area of the hospital where the chemical attack victims had been taken may serve as a proof of their knowledge. A few hours after the drone had left the district, an air strike blew up the hospital. This, according to U.S. officials, was an attempt to conceal the use of chemical weapons. At the same time, the interlocutor of the agency stressed that the air strike had been carried out by a "Russian-made jet aircraft." However, it has not been established yet whether this plane belonged to Syrian aviation or to the Russian Air Force.

As noted by the AP source, the Pentagon has ruled out the possibility that this could have been a mere coincidence. The U.S. military believes that these facts serve as proof that Russia was aware of the chemical attack and was involved in an attempt to conceal it. At the same time, the agency notes that the source refused to disclose all of the details of the investigation. In particular, he did not indicate what time the drone was noticed.

At the same time, another source of the Associated Press emphasized that Washington is not yet ready to officially declare Russia's involvement in the chemical attack. The agency notes that such accusations may lead to serious consequences. The U.S.A. has not brought any further accusations of involvement in the probable chemical attacks, which, according to Washington, were inflicted by Syrian authorities.

The fact that the U.S. authorities launched an investigation into Moscow’s possible involvement in the Idlib chemical attack was reported by the Associated Press on April 7th. At the same time, the agency’s source was unable to definitely state who exactly the sighted drone belonged to – Russia or Syria.

The chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, in the province of Idlib, took place on April 4th. The number of victims of the chemical attack was at least 80 people. According to Al Jazeera television and the Turkish news agency, Anadolu, the death toll exceeded 100 people, and another 500 people were injured. A number of Western countries accused Damascus of the attack, but the Syrian authorities deny their involvement in the incident. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Syrian aviation struck a large ammunition depot, where militants had kept chemical weapons.

On April 7th, the U.S. Army conducted a missile strike on the Shayrat Airbase, from which, according to the Pentagon, the chemical attack was conducted. A command to strike was given by U.S. President Donald Trump. At the same time, the White House said that should chemical weapons be used again, the United States would strike Syria again.

  USA, Russia, Syria, chemical attack