US officials say they suspect Russia may have played a role in the use of chemical weapons that killed at least 80 people in northeastern Syria earlier this week.

Russia may have been operating an unmanned drone and military aircraft in the region, according to US military officials cited by BuzzFeed News on Friday.

Two officials alleged that someone had turned the Russian unmanned drone’s camera off just before a Syrian hospital was struck, suggesting the Kremlin was turning a blind-eye to the attack. The officials did not disclose how they were able to determine the camera stopped recording.

“This is patterned behavior,” Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria analyst for the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, said to BuzzFeed. “The Russians have consistently conducted precise airstrikes targeting civilian infrastructure and hospital in particular, for example in Aleppo.”


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Featured image courtesy of Reuters