President Donald Trump’s efforts to forge a stronger relationship with his friends in Russia has just his another snag.
A senior United States official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that intelligence agencies have determined the Russian government, at the very least, knew in advance about Bashar al Assad’s chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians last week.
It was already known that, shortly after the attack, a drone flew over a Syrian hospital where the attack’s victims were scrambling to seek treatment. Several hours after the drone flyover, the hospital was bombed by a Russian-made fighter jet in what U.S. intelligence officials believe to be an attempt to conceal the use of chemical weapons.
While they still cannot determine who was piloting the jet, today, the official confirmed that the drone was operated by Russia, and that it could not have been a coincidence.
“Russia must have known the chemical weapons attack was coming and that victims were seeking treatment,” the AP reports.
This development adds a new dimension not only to the atrocities perpetrated by the Assad regime in Syria’s civil war but also to Trump’s cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin.
The White House had made no statement about Russian involvement in last week’s chemical attack.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com