US probing Russian complicity in Syria chemical attack

US officials say they're investigating if Russia was complicit in a chemical attack by the Syrian regime. Separately, US and its allies presented a new draft resolution to the UNSC seeking to probe the attack.

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Vladimir Putin says there could be fake chemical attacks in Syria to frame his ally Bashar al Assad.

Updated Apr 12, 2017

The United States is investigating whether Russia was complicit in a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime on civilians, but has not yet made a determination, a senior US administration official said on Tuesday.

"How is it possible that their forces were co-located with the Syrian (regime) forces that planned, prepared and carried out this chemical weapons attack at the same installation and did not have foreknowledge?" said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"We do think it is a question worth asking the Russians." 

We've seen these militaries operate very closely, even down to an operational level. There is not a consensus on our side about the extent or how to interpret the information we have and continue to get — Unnamed US official

The US launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield last Thursday to retaliate against the chemical weapons attack, which killed 100 people, many of them children. 

Turkey and the US say the deaths were most likely caused by sarin nerve gas dropped by Syrian regime jets – a charge Syria and Russia deny.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of more US air strikes in Syria and said there could be fake chemical attacks to frame his ally and Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad. 

UN Syria gas attack probe

Meanwhile, Britain, France and the US have presented a new draft resolution to the UN Security Council demanding an investigation of the chemical attack in Syria, the British ambassador said on Tuesday.

The new measure would require "full cooperation with the investigation" of the apparent attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Shaykhun, Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said while urging all members to support it. 

TRTWorld and agencies