Russian Federation knew Syrian chemical attack was coming
- Author: Arturo Norris Apr 12, 2017,
Apr 12, 2017, 2:55
British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke on Monday to U.S. President Donald Trump and agreed that "a window of opportunity" exists to persuade Russian Federation to break ties with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, May's office said.
Though meant to punish Assad for a chemical weapons attack, the US strikes last week served to refocus the world's attention on the bloody war in Syria.
"Russia's allegations fit with a pattern of deflecting blame from the regime and attempting to undermine the credibility of its opponents", the report read.
The Kremlin said that Obama did "everything possible" to worsen bilateral ties, and added that Russian Federation hoped that Tillerson's visit would be productive in this regard.
Early in his administration, President Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to meet her Russian counterpart in 2009 with a "reset" button.
What happened at the G7?
He is due to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday. Other members of the G7 appear to have been lukewarm on the plan.
What does the outcome mean? It came hours before Tillerson was to make a tense trip to Moscow to press Russia's leaders to finally abandon their support for Assad. G7 ministers, in the face of conflicting signals on U.S. policy towards Syria and Russian Federation, appear to have chosen to postpone any big decision until after those talks.
What's the U.S. position?
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the no. 2 Republican in the Senate, praised Trump's initial missile strike for sending a message to Assad, Russia, Iran and North Korea that "there's a new administration in charge".
Before he was elected, Donald Trump repeatedly held the door open for a new accommodation with Moscow. Putin says militants are preparing more "provocations" to blame Damascus.
The United States and its allies are conducting air strikes in Syria against Islamic State, but until last week Washington had avoided targeting forces of Assad's government directly.
Reluctant to put significant troops on the ground in Syria, the USA for years has struggled to prevent Assad from strengthening his hold on power.
Yet after Trump's retaliatory strike, the position became less clear.
Meanwhile, Syrian state media reported that Russian Federation and Iran are drawing red lines after the USA strike. "(Spicer) did not signal a change in administration policy", an official said.
What about the role of Assad?
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.
But he suggested that Trump was seeking a global political response for regime change from USA allies as well as Russian Federation, which he said needed to reevaluate its support of Syria. From Left: German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris J.
"It is clear to all of us that reign of the Assad family is coming to an end, but the question of how that ends and the transition itself could be very important in our view to the durability, the stability inside a unified Syria".
But at the same briefing Spicer drew criticism after he sought to underscore the ghastliness of the gas attack by saying, "You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons". "First of all there was a campaign launched in Iraq and it finished with the destruction of the country, the growth of the terrorist threat and the emergence of ISIS on the global area, no less than that", he told reporters after a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Moscow.
Tillerson said there was no room for both.