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AP: US believes Moscow knew of planned Syrian chem. attack; Russian-made jet bombed hospital to cover up

A man holds portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a rally in support of the Syrian regime in front of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. According to the Associated Press, U.S. officials believe the Russian government knew the Assad regime was planning to use chemical weapons on its own people. (Andrey Smirnov/AFP/Getty Images)

A senior U.S. official said Monday that the United States has determined Russia knew in advance about the Syrian chemical attack that took place last week and that someone bombed the hospital where victims were being treated to cover up the attack, according to The Associated Press.

The official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said a Russian drone was spotted flying overhead of a Syrian hospital where victims were taken to be treated after the attack. A few hours later, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in what United States officials believed to be an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons, the AP reported.

The official said that the United States hadn't been able to determine whether Syria or Russia was operating the drone, but confirmed on Monday it was Russia. He added that officials were still unsure who was flying the Russian-made plane that dropped the bombs on the hospital.

According to the source, the United States does not believe the Russian drone flying over the hospital was a coincidence, but that Russia knew about the chemical weapons attack beforehand and knew the victims would be receiving treatment at the hospital.

In response to the chemical attack President Bashar al-Assad waged on his own people in Syria, on Friday President Donald Trump launched nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian air base, a move that was condemned by Russia and Iran who said that the United States had crossed a "red line." The two countries both promised to support Syria in a statement released Sunday.

"The United States crossed red lines by attacking Syria, from now on we will respond to anyone, including America if it attacks Syria and crosses the red lines," the statement said. "America knows very well our ability and capabilities to respond well to them, we will respond without taking into consideration any reaction and consequences."

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