Russian Federation responsible 'by proxy' for suspected Syrian chemical attack: United Kingdom minister

Russian Federation responsible 'by proxy' for suspected Syrian chemical attack: United Kingdom minister

"We targeted fuel reserves, aircraft, and did not target chemical weapons storages", he said.

The United States Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Monday said that the USA will not allow the Syrian government to use chemical weapons against Syrian civilians again.

Tillerson said Syria was able to execute the attack, which killed scores of people, because Moscow had failed to carry out a 2013 agreement to secure and destroy chemical weapons in Syria.

American forces fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield last week, the first time the USA military has directly intervened in the Syrian civil war by attacking Assad's forces.

President Trump's limited, proportional missile strike on a single Syrian air base had a clear goal: Punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for having launched a chemical weapons attack that killed over 85 of his citizens and deter him (and others) from engaging in similar WMD-related war crimes.

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Also on April 9, Syrian state media reported that Iranian President Hassan Rohani affirmed his support for Syria's government in a phone call with Assad.

The strike has raised questions about President Trump's broader Syria strategy and whether he will pursue regime change.

He said the United States expected Russian Federation to take a tougher stance against Syria by rethinking its alliance with Assad because "every time one of these horrific attacks occurs, it draws Russian Federation closer into some level of responsibility". "We're not saying that we are the ones who are going to effect that change".

In Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the USA missile strike was a "a strategic error, and a repeat of the mistakes of the past", the state news agency IRNA reported. "I think the president has authorization to use force", he said.

The talks about overall U.S. -Russia relations will also serve as a step in exploring whether a direct meeting at a higher level - between Trump and Putin - is to come. "I always wanted us to help Syrian fighters on the ground who themselves wanted to negotiate".

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Ahead of the formal G-7 meetings, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told Tillerson that Tokyo supports the United States in its effort to "deter the spread and use of chemical weapons". "What we saw was a reaction to the use of chemical weapons, something I think many of us supported", he said.

"In that regard, we are hopeful that we can work with Russian Federation and use their influence to achieve areas of stabilization throughout Syria and create the conditions for a political process through Geneva in which we can engage all of the parties on the way forward and it is through that political process that we believe the Syrian people will lawfully be able to decide the fate of Bashar al-Assad", he added.

The official says a Russian-operated drone flew over a hospital in Syria as victims of the attack were rushing to get treatment.

The United States is fighting Islamic State group militants in Syria but had previously avoided striking government forces, largely out of concern about being pulled into a military conflict with Russian Federation.

He knocked the Obama administration for not responding to Assad's chlorine gas attacks after the deal was in place. "We will react firmly to any aggression against Syria and to any infringement of red lines, whoever carries them out".

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