U.K.'s Boris Johnson cancels Moscow trip over Syria
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 17, 2017,
Apr 17, 2017, 14:06
Russian Federation and Iran renewed their support for the Syrian government in a flurry of calls Sunday, saying last week's USA missile strike violated Syrian sovereignty but failed to boost the morale of "terror groups" in Syria.
But President Vladimir Putin has not personally condemned the USA airstrike, and some reports suggest he is unhappy that Assad has boxed him into defending what many consider a war crime.
As many as nine civilians, including four children were killed in the United States missile attack on a military airbase in central Syria on Friday.
President Donald Trump ordered the strike in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians earlier in the week, which USA officials say was carried out on the orders of the Assad government.
Moscow has sought to deflect blame from its long-time ally al-Assad over the incident and says Syrian jets struck a rebel arms depot where "toxic substances" were being put inside bombs.
Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has spoken to Mr Tillerson by phone, telling him that the cruise missile attack against the Syrian regime "plays into the hands of extremists".
Russian Federation says United States has no proof chemical weapons were used Tuesday.
Russian president Vladimir Putin and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani said American military intervention was a "violation of worldwide law" during telephone talks backing the Syrian regime.
Western governments, rebel leaders and a weapons expert all criticised this claim, saying the evidence pointed to an attack by the Syrian government.
"By sending Tomahawk missiles to attack the airfield, aeroplane and equipment believed to be involved, it (the US) has sent a strong signal to the Syrian regime to think twice before using gas in the future", Fallon said.
"We have information from our partners and from contacts on that ground that makes it very plausible that the Assad regime was behind this awful poison gas attack", he said.
In a statement Saturday, Johnson said his priority was to continue contact with the United States and others in the run-up to a meeting of G-7 foreign ministers in Italy on Monday and Tuesday, with the aim of building "coordinated global support for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process".
The remarks came as British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cancelled a trip to Russian Federation citing a fundamental change to the situation in Syria.
"We deplore Russia's continued defence of the Assad regime, even after the chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians", he said.
"The world is waiting for the Russian government to act responsibly in Syria".
Mr Tillerson is then expected to travel to Moscow on Tuesday, where he will threaten Vladimir Putin with isolation if he continues to support Mr Assad's regime.