Russia Had Advance Knowledge Of The Syrian Chemical Attacks, U.S. Authorities Claim

Zvonimir Atletic /

Syria’s use of chemical weapons on its own civilians was quickly reviled across the world, including a missile strike by the U.S. military, and just as quickly, it became subject to an investigation by American authorities over Russia’s involvement with the attack. The preliminary results have come in, and it appears that elements of the Russian government had foreknowledge of the attack, and did nothing.

The AP is reporting that U.S. authorities are confident that Russia knew about the attacks ahead of time, although whether Assad acted of his own accord or with assistance from Russia in the attacks is still under debate. The subject of the investigation was a drone, either Russian or Syrian lingered over the hospital where victims of the attack were taken. The Assad regime is accused of using sarin gas, a nerve agent that, among other effects, paralyzes the nerve muscles. Sarin has been outlawed since 1997 under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and it’s believed the hospital strike was an attempt by members of the Russian government to cover up Assad’s use of the agent. Assad has a long history of using chemical weapons.

The AP’s anonymous source produced no intelligence or other data to back up the statement but reflects the preliminary results of the investigation, as well as data already known, such as the air force base where the attacks were launched from serving as chemical weapons storage and Russian military personnel working at the base. The investigation is still ongoing.

(Via Associated Press)