United States officials say Russian inaction enabled Syria chemical attack

Russian Federation had its own military personnel at the Syrian military airport that the us struck with cruise missiles.

A chemical attack on the residential part of Khan Sheikhun killed 85 civilians, including 20 children and 13 women.

"Do they want it to be a relationship of competition and potential conflict", McMaster said.

Tillerson stopped short of accusing the Russians of complicity. "I mean, we've got to do that for peace and stability in the area". Haley, for example, questioned why Moscow rushed to Syria's defense so soon after the chemical weapons attack.

He insisted there was "no one harder" than his father if Russian Federation chose to "cross us".

"The failure related to the recent strike and the recent awful chemical weapons attack in large measure is a failure on Russia's part to achieve its commitment to the global community", he added.

Moscow has sought to deflect blame from its long-time ally al-Assad over the incident and says Syrian jets struck a rebel arms depot where "toxic substances" were being put inside bombs.

"In that regard, we are hopeful that we can work with Russian Federation and use their influence to achieve areas of stabilisation throughout Syria and create the conditions for a political process through Geneva in which we can engage all of the parties on the way forward and it is through that political process that we believe the Syrian people will lawfully be able to decide the fate of Bashar al-Assad". "We're not going to have you cover for this regime anymore'".

A week ago, Haley and Tillerson said that the U.S. was not working towards unseating Assad, and that such a decision should be up to the Syrian people.

But Haley suggested there has been a shift in U.S. thinking. This comes months after the Russia-backed Assad regime already had begun to re-establish control over much of the country.

The Syrian regime denies that it carried out the nerve agent gas attack in Idlib.

Mr Tillerson is likely to raise the issue of the continued use of chemical weapons in Moscow this week.

But in a television interview that aired Sunday, Tillerson said the priority "really hasn't changed".

That's because almost all Republican lawmakers - and some Democrats - blame the Obama administration's "red line" policy for enabling Syria to keep using chemical weapons in the country's long and bloody civil war.

President Trump called the chemical attack "reprehensible" and blamed it on the Obama administration.

"It's very hard to understand how a political solution could result from the continuation of the Assad regime", McMaster said. Rex Tillerson is going on Wednesday so it can't be that we have moved to a Cold War position of no talking whatsoever.

  • Leroy Wright