Following President Trump’s missile strike upon a Syrian military air base, Russia was swift to condemn U.S. actions. Vladimir Putin labeled this as “an act of aggression” and pulled his country out of a cooperative military pact involving warplane-mission communication. This reaction isn’t shocking, even following displays of Trump-Putin adoration, because Putin is very tight with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia routinely aids Syria within the country’s civil war, and the Pentagon suspects Russia may have participated in this week’s deadly chemical attack (via the nerve agent Sarin) on civilians.
This isn’t an outlandish claim. After all, the U.S. warned Russia about the impending missile strike, and Syria miraculously managed to evacuate the air base on time. Now, the Associated Press relays word from senior U.S. military officials that U.S. investigators are probing whether a lingering drone — that either belongs to Russia or Syria — had anything to do with the Sarin attack. Even if Russia isn’t directly involved, the officials are calling out Russia for failing to curb the Assad regime’s infatuation with chemical weapons:
The officials say Russia has failed to control the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. They say a drone belonging either to Russia or Syria was seen hovering over the site of the chemical weapons attack Tuesday after it happened. The drone returned late in the day as citizens were going to a nearby hospital for treatment. Shortly afterward, officials say the hospital was bombed. The officials say they believe the hospital attack may have been an effort to cover up evidence of the attack.
Well, Russian military drones captured airstrike footage from the U.S. attack, so yep, there was probably one buzzing around the chemical attack site as well. What does this mean? We’ll surely soon find out.
Whatever comes of this, Russia won’t be happy to hear that the Pentagon may soon point fingers in their direction, especially after Trump’s “symbolic” move of an air strike. Will Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s scheduled Russia visit still happen later this month? It’s gonna be a rough meeting if so, for three decades of Trump-Russia relations may be sliding down the tubes.
(Via Associated Press)