Boris Johnson cancels Moscow visit over Syrian chemical weapons attack

President Donald Trump's administration is ratcheting up the pressure on Russian Federation to stop backing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in the wake of a gas attack that killed more than 80 civilians last week - and even floating the possibility that Vladimir Putin's regime was complicit in the carnage. India had already released the second tranche of the $240 million for the completion of these projects.

"What America did is nothing but foolish and irresponsible behaviour, which only reveals its short-sightedness and political and military blindness to reality", Mr Assad's office said.

Describing the strike on Shayrat airbase as a "very measured step", the USA ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told the Security Council: "We are prepared to do more, but we hope it will not be necessary".

Mr Putin and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani said American military intervention was a " violation of global law" during telephone talks backing the Syrian regime.

Sir Michael, writing in the Sunday Times, said the Kremlin was responsible "by proxy" as the "principal backer" of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also had planned to visit Russian Federation this coming week, but decided Saturday to cancel the trip because of the fast-moving events in Syria.

"What Ambassador Haley pointed out was, it's very hard to figure out how a political solution could result from the continuation of the Assad regime", McMaster said.

Iran is one of the biggest supporters of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Fresh airstrikes struck a town in Syria, which was hit by a chemical attack on Tuesday, according to Syrian activists.

In Saturday's call, Lavrov told Tillerson the United States move against Syrian government forces threatened the fight against terrorism and that Russian Federation did not believe the Syrian military had used chemical weapons.

Thursday night's strikes - some 60 cruise missiles fired from two ships in the Mediterranean - were the culmination of a rapid, three-day transformation for Trump, who has long opposed deeper United States involvement in Syria's civil war. US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he was preparing further economic sanctions against Syria, the BBC said.

And the Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's leader Hassan Rouhani condemned the cruise-missile attack Thursday on Syria's Shayrat airfield and urged the United Nations Security Council to take action against the USA for launching the attack that violated "the sovereignty of an independent country".

"Developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally".

The attack has been widely blamed on the Syrian government.

Several Iraqi Shiite militias, some of them directly supported by Iran, are helping Assad's camp in the Syria conflict by sending fighting units across the border.

"I would not in any way attempt to extrapolate that to a change in our policy or our posture relative to our military activities in Syria today", Tillerson said at a media briefing after the USA action.

"By sending Tomahawk missiles to attack the airfield, aeroplanes and equipment believed to be involved, it has sent a strong signal to the Syrian regime to think twice before using gas in future", said Sir Michael.

  • Salvatore Jensen