Syria's Assad says USA missile attacks fail to achieve goal

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has told CNN that removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power is a priority, cementing an extraordinary U-turn in the Trump administration's stance on the embattled leader.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said Russian Federation was responsible for "every civilian death" in the Syrian chemical weapons attack, claiming President Putin was to blame "by proxy" as Assad's "principal backer".

President Donald Trump ordered the missile strike after watching television images of infants suffering from chemical weapons injuries.

On the face of it, it appears to be a bold move meant to take Mr. Assad to task for his actions. "It just - if you look at his actions, if you look at the situation, it's going to be hard to see a government that's peaceful and stable with Assad".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meanwhile plans to meet with G-7 foreign ministers in Europe next week before going on to Moscow.

"It's important that we keep our priorities straight".

A longtime backer of Syria's armed opposition, Turkey is now overseeing a stuttering peace process in the Kazakh capital, Astana, that it hopes will hasten an end to the war.

At UN, Washington's UN ambassador said that Bashar al-Assad can not stay in power after the suspected chemical attack.

U.S. warships deployed to the eastern Mediterranean launched a barrage of 59 Tomahawk missiles against Shayrat Airfield, southeast of the western Syrian city of Homs, on Friday.

And his administration informed Congress that it could "take additional action, as necessary and appropriate, to further its important national interests". Washington blamed the Syrian government for the incident, saying chemical weapons used in the alleged attack originated from the airfield. Eyewitnesses and a monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Saturday that fresh attacks on the area - now a virtual ghost town - had killed one woman and wounded several other people.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani called for the formation of an worldwide fact-finding committee to investigate the chemical weapons attack.

Earlier this week, AP reported, citing USA military officials, that Washington launched an investigation into whether Russian Federation is linked to the suspected chemical attack in Syria's Idlib, which the United States claims was carried out by Damascus. Obama had declared the use of such weapons a "red line".

Britain said Russian Federation bore responsibility by proxy for civilian deaths in Syria caused by the chemical weapons attack in which at least 70 were killed.

In a phone call with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the strike on Friday a "blatant violation" of Syrian sovereignty, Syrian state media reported.

That statement stood in contrast not only to Tillerson's comments but also to her own remarks a week ago - before Assad carried out his latest chemical weapons attack on civilians - in which she insisted that his departure from office was not a diplomatic priority for the United States.

  • Leroy Wright