Pentagon Casts Doubt On AP Report Claiming Russia Knew About Syrian Chemical Attack
A Department of Defense spokesman discounted an Associated Press report that claimed Russia knew in advance about the chemical weapons attack in Syria last week that left more than 80 people dead.
“I’ve seen nothing that corroborates this definitive statement,” Major Jamie Davis told the Daily Caller in a statement Monday. “We continue to review the available intelligence surrounding this incident.”
Though Davis noted that the DOD is continuing to assess the details of the situation, he noted they have found nothing so far that could verify the AP story. (RELATED: Trump: ‘What Assad Did Is Terrible — Truly An Egregious Crime’)
Citing an anonymous senior U.S. official, the Associated Press reported Monday that the United States concluded Russia knew in advance of the attack.
“The official said a drone operated by Russians was flying over a hospital as victims of the attack were rushing to get treatment,” the AP reported.
“Hours after the drone left, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in what American officials believe was an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons.”
“But the official said the presence of the surveillance drone over the hospital couldn’t have been a coincidence, and that Russia must have known the chemical weapons attack was coming and that victims were seeking treatment.”
A senior administration official in the White House also cast doubt on the AP report.
“At this time, there is no U.S. intelligence community consensus that Russia had foreknowledge of the Syrian chemical attack,” a senior administration official said.