Turkey says US strikes 'cosmetic' if Assad stays in power

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Russia's response indicated "continued support for a regime that carries out these type of horrendous attacks on their own people".

President Donald Trump's national security adviser on Sunday left open the possibility of additional USA military action against Syria following last week's missile strike but indicated that the United States was not seeking to act unilaterally to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Much of the global community rallied behind Trump's decision to fire the cruise missiles in reaction to this week's chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of men, women and children in Syria.

Reuters quoted U.S. Navy Admiral Michelle Howard as saying on April 8 that the strikes had destroyed the means to deliver chemical weapons from that base, and that the U.S. military was ready to carry out further strikes if needed.

Amid rising tensions between Moscow and Washington, Johnson said Saturday the situation in war-torn Syria had "fundamentally" changed following a chemical weapons attack on civilians and the US airstrikes targeting a military airfield.

USA -backed rebels groups have long pleaded for more US intervention and complained that Washington has only fought the Islamic State group.

Moon did not directly respond to a question about the possibility of a US military strike against the North.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has canceled a planned trip to Russia because of fast-changing developments in Syria - prompting a mocking tweet and a Russian official to take a dig at the West. But a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the strikes dealt "a significant blow" to relations between Moscow and Washington. In interviews broadcast Sunday, Tillerson said defeating the Islamic State group remains the top focus.

South Korea's deployment of a U.S. missile defence system loathed by Beijing will also be high on Mr Wu's agenda, Yonhap news agency said.

"I think it is very important in these circumstances for the world to present a united front and for there to be absolutely no ambiguity about the message", he said.

The UK envoy said there was no evidence that non-state actors in Syria had access to chemical weapons producing the symptoms seen on Tuesday, while France's envoy said there was no fire after the air strike, even though a strike on an ammunition depot "would have caused a fire". "They have explained to the administration it would hurt America", he said.

Like most of the world, Pyongyang is still trying to figure out just what kind of a leader Trump will be. He says Trump has the authority to launch additional strikes against Syria.

  • Joanne Flowers