According to US military officials, the Pentagon is investigating a possibility of Russia’s involvement in a chemical attack in the Syrian province of Idlib.
Washington is finding out whether Moscow took part in a chemical attack, carried out in the Syrian province of Idlib earlier this week, the AP news agency reported on Friday, citing unnamed senior military officials.
According to the news agency’s source, Russia has failed to control the process of usage chemical weapons by the Syrian government.
BREAKING: Senior US military officials say Pentagon looking into whether Russia participated in Syrian chemical weapons attack.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 7, 2017
Reportedly, the US military officials told AP that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), belonging either to the Syrian or Russian side, was spotted hovering over the site of the chemical attack right after it happened on Tuesday. The news agency’s sources claim that the drone left the area late in the day, as citizens were going to a nearby hospital in order to get treatment. Shortly afterward, officials say, the hospital was bombed.
According to the AP sources, the attack on the hospital may have been an effort to hide evidences of the attack. The military officials noted that they are still checking evidences.
Earlier, the Bloomberg news agency reported, citing a representative of the US Department of Defense, that the US side does not have evidence of Russia’s involvement in the chemical attack in the Syrian province of Idlib.
On Tuesday, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces reported that 80 civilians were killed and 200 others were injured in the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun city in Idlib province. Oppositionists blamed the Syrian government forces for the attack. The Syrian Army’s Command resolutely rejected the accusations and blamed militants and their patrons for the attack.
After the chemical attack, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said that the Russian side expected from Washington indisputable evidence of the fact that the chemical weapons were used by the Syrian Army in Khan Shaykhun.
In September 2013, Russia put forward an initiative to destroy chemical weapons in Syria under the control of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The stock of chemical weapons were successfully exported from Syria and destroyed: at the end of October 2014, the OPCW announced that 97.8% of chemical substances for military usage, previously exported from the country, had been destroyed.
The groundless suspicions of Washington against Russia seem to be another proof of the fact that the whole story with the Syrian chemical attack is just a provocation.