Syrian Town That Suffered Alleged Chemical Attack Hit With New Airstrikes

Reacting to media reports that Tillerson would use his visit to press Moscow to back away from supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia's biggest Middle East ally, Peskov signalled that was a non-starter.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took a more nuanced view, asserting that Assad had undermined his legitimacy as a leader but declaring that defeating Islamic State remains the top US goal in Syria.

"We deplore Russia's continued defence of the Assad regime even after the chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to take a more patient stance in regard to Assad, saying on Saturday that Washington's first priority is the defeat of Islamic State.

Mr Tillerson echoed the comments, telling Face The Nation on CBS, the Russians "have played now for some time the role of providing cover for Bashar Assad's behaviour".

Mr Turnbull reiterated his support for the U.S. missile strikes on the Syrian air base where the gas attack was launched from, describing it as swift, just and calibrated. Damascus has categorically denied carrying out a chemical attack.

Those include alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, Washington's accusation that Russia is violating an important arms control treaty, and trying to bridge differences on how to conduct the fight against Islamic State.

"We've seen what that looks like, when you undertake a violent regime change in Libya, and the situation in Libya continues to be very chaotic", he said.

The comments from Homs provincial Governor Talal Barazi came just hours after the Syrian government said the US missile attack on the Shayrat air base had caused extensive damage.

The two leaders noted the importance of continuing close cooperation in the political and diplomatic settlement of the chronic Syrian civil war, the statement said.

On the ground in Syria, meanwhile, fresh air strikes have targeted the same town that was hit by the recent chemical attack, killing at least 17 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). It's also to get out the Iranian influence, which we think is causing so much friction and worse issues in the area.

The Local Coordination Committees, another monitoring group, said the airstrike was carried out by Russian warplane. So the onus now is on Russian Federation to ensure that Syria does not engage in other provocative actions.

The US launched Friday 59 missiles on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for the suspected chemical weapon attack that killed dozens of civilians, including many children. We absolutely support the efforts of the United Nations to find that resolution and we strongly urge Russian Federation and Iran and other supporters of the regime to engage and to try to identify a solution.

  • Leroy Wright