USA to confront those who commit crimes against 'innocents': Tillerson

"This is the first time the United States has acted directly against the Assad regime", McMaster said of Thursday's airstrike.

Iran has provided crucial military and economic assistance to Assad throughout Syria's six-year civil war. "That's why I said, they test, they test, and they test". "But as he consulted with us by notice on this attack, it's incumbent upon him to consult with Congress".

The two leaders also called for an objective investigation into the chemical weapons deaths in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, and said they were ready to deepen cooperation to fight terrorism, the Kremlin said in a statement on its website.

Assad has responded with characteristic defiance, vowing to accelerate efforts to wipe out rebels he calls terrorists.

USA warships fired 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian air base from which the US believes the attack was launched. The government refers to all those fighting against it as terrorists.

In Saturday's call, Lavrov told Tillerson the USA move against Syrian government forces threatened the fight against terrorism and that Russian Federation did not believe the Syrian military had used chemical weapons. "There is still no clear American policy on Syria", he said.

"Is this a strategic shift by the Americans?" " "I think he's making a serious mistake".

Although Tillerson said he has not seen "any hard evidence" that Russian Federation was involved in carrying out the attack, it did accuse Moscow of failing to keep its commitment to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate's No. 2 Republican and a member of the chamber's Intelligence committee, told "Fox News Sunday" that Trump needs to come to Congress before committing troops.

"There is no such thing as Assad yes, but ISIS no", Rubio said.

The secretary of state said the US priority remains to defeat ISIS.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani said the United States has been warned it crossed a "red line" with its missile strikes on Syria. He emphasized that point on CBS' Face the Nation, noting that the administration is "hopeful ... we can navigate a political outcome in which the Syrian people, in fact, will determine Bashar al-Assad's fate and his legitimacy".

Since the attack, Trump has struck a tough tone, saying "something should happen" with Assad, but not yet saying what that should be.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said at the weekend that regime change in Syria was a priority for Trump, while Tillerson said on Saturday the first priority was the defeat of Islamic State. He has also said there was no role for Assad in Syria's future. "We are prepared to do more". Syrian rebel groups said on Friday the United States "responsibility" did not end with the missile attack.

"We could not get the Obama administration to react to that", Ford said.

Military pressure and siege tactics have forced rebels out of numerous strongholds in recent months, including eastern Aleppo and areas near Damascus.

The chemical attack has sent a new chill through relations between the West and Moscow, which denies Syrian forces used chemical weapons. The evacuation is taking place in phases, with Russian oversight on the ground.

"They should know that we are aware of their attempts to control that geographic spot, and that makes them illegal occupation forces", it said.

"This president has made it pretty clear that if those actions were to continue, further action will definitely be considered by the United States".

There is no "option but victory", he said.

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