WASHINGTON — The United States has concluded that Russia knew ahead of time that Syria would launch a chemical weapons attack last week, a senior U.S. official says.
The official offered circumstantial elements to back up his claim, but no concrete proof. And others in the Trump administration cautioned that final American determination had been made that Russia had advance knowledge of the attack, which killed more than 80 people and prompted retaliatory U.S. cruise missile strikes.
The senior official said Monday that a drone operated by Russians was flying over a hospital as victims of the attack were rushing to get treatment. 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.
The presence of the surveillance drone over the hospital couldn’t have been a coincidence, the senior U.S. official said, arguing that Russia