Tillerson: Russia 'failure allowed Syria chemical attack'

Tillerson: Russia 'failure allowed Syria chemical attack'

Top aides to President Donald Trump demurred on Sunday over where USA policy on Syria was headed after last week's retaliatory missile strike, leaving open questions about whether removing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad from power was now one of Trump's goals.

Damascus and Moscow denied Syrian forces were behind the gas attack but Western countries dismissed their explanation that chemicals leaked from a rebel weapons depot after an air strike.

When reports of chemical attacks in Syria first surfaced, former President Barack Obama said the use of those weapons would invoke a USA response.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he sees no reason for retaliation from Russian Federation for US missile strikes on a Syrian air base.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson still plans to visit Moscow after the G-7 meeting to deliver a "clear and coordinated message to the Russians", Johnson said on the U.K. Foreign Office's website on Saturday.

"This is part of the problem with Syria, Russia's sponsorship of [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's] murderous regime".

It said the strike was believed to have been carried out by Russian planes, which operate in support of the Syrian government.

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A United States defence official also clarified that the strikes conducted by the nation were not meant to damage runways or fully disable the Syria base.

Writing in the Sunday Times, he said Vladimir Putin's Kremlin was to blame "by proxy" for the attack that killed 87 people, including 20 children, because it was the Syrian president's "principal backer".

North Korea's nuclear capabilities have moved to the top of the US's foreign policy agenda, amid concerns that Kim Jong- Un is developing nuclear technology that could enable missiles to hit the US.

President Donald Trump ordered the missile strike after watching television images of infants suffering from chemical weapons injuries. "We are prepared to do more, but we hope it will not be necessary". "Assad must go and the search for stability, to begin".

The latest chemical attack has already drawn a hypocritical response from the USA, which launched Tomahawk missiles at an Assad airbase.

Iran and Russia - Assad's key allies - condemned Trump's strikes as war fears continue to build.