Reported By Jordan Fabian – 04/11/17 01:41 PM EDT
The White House on Tuesday released an intelligence assessment saying it is “confident” that Syrian President Bashar Assad used sarin gas in a chemical attack on his people earlier this month. The four-page, declassified report is meant to push back on what it called Russian efforts to spread “disinformation” about the origins of the attack in order to cover up the involvement of Assad, Moscow’s closest ally in the region.
“It’s clear the Russians are trying to cover up what happened there,” a senior White House official said.
“How is it possible that their forces were co-located with the Syrian forces that planned, prepared and carried out this chemical weapons attack at the same installation and did not have foreknowledge?” another senior White House official told reporters.
“The absolute mass of data we have … it’s just too massive for really any intelligence organization to fabricate in that short of period of time,” another White House official said. “That’s just not a feasible explanation.”
“We have information that a similar provocation is being prepared … in other parts of Syria including in the southern Damascus suburbs where they are planning to again plant some substance and accuse the Syria authorities of using [chemical weapons],” Putin said in Moscow.