In first, USA says Russian Federation was complicit in Syria chemical attack

Fifty-seven percent said they approve of the strikes, which were ordered by President Trump in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad, the CBS News poll said.

President Trump launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Thursday at the airbase where the Syrian planes carrying the sarin gas took off.

Tillerson also spoke by phone with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose government insists Assad should play no role in Syria's future.

It had been expected that ministers would focus on hotspots such as Libya, Iran and Ukraine, but top of the agenda now is the attack on Khan Sheikhun, which killed at least 87 people, and the USA cruise missiles fired at a Syrian airbase in retaliation.

The poll also said 70 percent of people want Trump to go to Congress for approval before taking further military action in Syria. "He is poisoning innocent people with weapons that were banned 100 years ago - and he is poisoning the reputation of Russian Federation".

Asked specifically whether the United Kingdom would support further US military strikes if chemical weapons were used again, the spokesman said: "What they've said is that they are not planning any further strikes but they could reconsider if they use chemical weapons again".

The missile strike drew sharp criticism from Iran and North Korea and put the Trump administration on a diplomatic collision course with Moscow.

The meeting also comes amid an ongoing terror threat that was underscored by the deadly Palm Sunday bombing of Coptic churches in Egypt claimed by the Islamic State group, and another truck attack on European soil, this time in Stockholm, on Friday. The former Cold War foes even worked together in 2013 to remove and destroy more than 1,300 tons of Syrian chemical weapons and agents.

Russian Federation has plans to put forward a proposal on Monday for an independent and impartial investigation of the attack, said a spokesman in Berlin for the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

The spokesman, Martin Schaefer, said Germany viewed it as "a good and important sign".

"They discussed the importance of Russian Federation using its influence to bring about a political settlement in Syria, and to work with the rest of the global community to ensure the shocking events of the last week are never repeated", May's spokesman said.

A Syrian Sukhoi jet took off from the Shayrat airbase targeted by the volley of USA strikes, Hezbollah's al-Manar TV channel reported Sunday, saying repairs to the base began within hours of the attack.

Washington has sent mixed signals about whether it shares the determination of allies including Britain that Assad must be removed from power.

Tillerson said he had not seen hard evidence that Russian Federation knew ahead of time about the chemical weapons attack but he planned to urge Moscow to rethink its support for Assad in the April 12 talks.

Those elements, the senior official said, add to the conclusion that Russian Federation was complicit in the attack to which the USA responded by firing 59 Tomahawk missiles were fired on the government-controlled base, in the United States' first direct military action against Assad's forces. "We are still paying the price", Alfano said, referring to the lawlessness that has ensued since the killing of longtime dictator Moammar Kadafi and the subsequent flow of migrants to Europe via Italy.

  • Leroy Wright