Trump gave Syria attack order 'during dessert'

Giving Tillerson a chilly reception, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was trying to understand the "real intentions" of the Trump administration.

In his interview, Putin doubled down on Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, repeating denials that Assad's government was to blame for the gas attack last week and adding a new theory that the attack may have been faked by Assad's enemies.

President Vladimir Putin said ties between Russian Federation and the United States appear to have deteriorated under Donald Trump in an interview released Wednesday as the countries' top diplomats met in Moscow.

Tillerson was on a daylong mission to Moscow, the first Trump administration official to go to Russia, to press for an end of Russian support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"We have seen very alarming actions recently with an unlawful attack against Syria", Lavrov said, referring to Trump's missile attack at a Syrian air base, launched to punish Assad for using chemical weapons.

"It'd be a fantastic thing if we got along with Putin and if we got along with Russia", Trump said.

"I expressed the view that the current state of U.S. -Russia relations is at a low point", Tillerson said.

Echoing the Russian stance on cooperation, Tillerson said that Russia and the USA will continue discussions about how to find a solution to the Syrian conflict.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that Russian Federation by vetoing a Security Council draft has said no to peace in Syria. "A successful ouster of a dictator is for me very hard to remember".

He said working groups would be established to improve U.S.

It was left up in the air whether Putin would actually receive Tillerson.

"We want to hear concrete proof and then we will respond accordingly", Mr Lavrov said.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the council before the vote that during talks in Moscow, Russia asked for an independent worldwide investigation to examine the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun. Is there a way ahead for the US and Russian Federation on Syria?

"This is just the latest in a series of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime".

The Trump administration says it is spending a disproportionate share on defense compared with its 27 partners, and that it expects action by the time Trump meets with other alliance leaders on May 25.

Can Russia abandon Assad? Any expectations of an easy rapport have crashed into reality amid the nasty back-and-forth over Syria and ongoing US investigations into Russia's activity connected to the USA presidential election.

The U.S. has said that the strikes were in response to the chemical weapon attack in Syria.

Syria's government has denied responsibility for the gas attack in a rebel-held area of northern Syria that killed at least 87 people, many of them children.

Mr Putin said he believed the USA would launch more missile strikes, and rebels were planning to stage chemical attacks to provoke more strikes. US spending, too, has tapered off in recent years.

The talks were a test of US-Russia relations which have been marred with questions over Syria, and alleged meddling in the US elections.

Tillerson said Syria's government had committed more than 50 attacks using chlorine or other chemical weapons over the duration of the conflict.

"It reminds me of the events in 2003 when USA envoys to the Security Council were demonstrating what they said were chemical weapons found in Iraq", Putin said.

  • Arturo Norris