(CN) — A senior U.S. official told the Associated Press on Monday the United States believes Russia knew in advance of Syria’s chemical weapons attack last week, and deliberately tried to hide that it occurred.
The official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on intelligence matters, told the AP that a Russian-operated drone flew over a hospital in Syria as victims of the attack were rushing to it to get treatment.
Hours later, this official said, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in what American officials believe was an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons.
Until Monday, U.S. officials had said they weren’t sure if the drone was operated by Russia or Syria. The senior official said it still wasn’t clear who was flying the jet that bombed the hospital.
The official said the presence of the drone couldn’t have been a coincidence, and that Russia must have known the chemical weapons attack was coming and that victims were seeking treatment, the AP reported.