USA rhetoric 'partially to blame' for Syria attack: McCain

However, the BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says President Assad is Russia's key military ally in the Middle East and Mr Tillerson may need to rethink his belief that he can weaken Moscow's support for him.

Ten Security Council member-nations voted in favor of the resolution, two voted against it and three abstained.

President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that U.S. -Russia ties "may be at an all-time low", and Tillerson struck a similar tone after a day of talks in Moscow.

Russian Federation and Syria claim the Khan Shaykhun victims were killed by toxic agents released from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian warplanes.

Russia's deputy United Nations envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, said the draft resolution laid blame prior to an independent investigation.

"We have continued to deconflict as necessary with the Russians", as USA air operations continue, but declined to comment how those talks were being handled, Col. Thomas told reporters at the Pentagon. A spokesman for the Russian defense ministry said the United States had no proof of chemical weapons at the air base. "These agreements stipulated Russian Federation as the guarantor of a Syria free of chemical weapons, that they would also locate, secure, and destroy all such armaments in Syria".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is visiting Moscow this week to meet with his Russian counterparts, said Sunday he plans to ask them about their commitment to ensuring Syria has no chemical weapons.

A fact-finding mission from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is investigating the attack.

Syria and Russian Federation have both denied that Assad's forces carried out the toxic gas attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun last week.

On his first visit to Moscow as Presdient Donald Trump's secretary of State, Tillerson said the two countries are unified on issues like stabilizing Syria and tackling global terrorism.

The deal was suspended after U.S. strikes against a Syrian airbase following last week's suspected chemical attack in Idlib province, in an act Moscow labelled "aggression against a sovereign state". Turkey has said tests showed sarin gas was used. He said, however, that "until full progress is made under the Minsk accords, the situation in Ukraine will remain an obstacle to improvement in relations between the US and Russian Federation". He said Assad's government was responsible.

U.S. officials were the first to say they believed Sarin gas was used in the attack, but they offered no concrete evidence.

At least 30 children were killed in the gas attack.

"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.

  • Leroy Wright