Iran's Rouhani wants probe into chemical attack in Syria

The United States is "playing the terrorism game", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday during his first phone talks with his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson since the USA air strikes on Syria last week.

Back on Friday, dozens of U.S. missile hit Shayrat airfield in western Syrian province of Homs in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town.

Thursday's tomahawks were launched by two U.S. Navy destroyers, the USS Porter and the USS Ross, which are stationed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and targeted the al-Shayrat air base.

After dinner Thursday, the president informed Xi that USA missiles had just made impact in Syria.

Warplanes on Saturday struck the Syrian town where a chemical attack had killed scores of people earlier this week, as Turkey warned that a retaliatory US missile strike on a Syrian air base would only be "cosmetic" if greater efforts are not made to remove President Bashar Assad from power.

Criticised for his low-profile diplomacy, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is emerging from the shadows with a leading public role in shaping and explaining the Trump administration's missile strikes in Syria.

The new strikes came as Russian Federation, the Syrian regime's main ally, sent a frigate armed with cruise missiles to a Syrian port in an apparent show of force in response to the United States strike.

Tillerson's more restrained language may reflect his plan to visit Moscow for meetings this week, at which he hopes to bridge the latest tensions in U.S. -Russia relations.

U.S. officials have said the Pentagon is looking for any evidence that the Russian government knew about or was complicit in Tuesday's chemical attack.

"The United States took a very measured step last night", U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council. However, a US official said all but one of the 59 missiles struck their targets, hitting multiple aircraft and air shelters, and destroying the fuel area.

I directed this action in order to degrade the Syrian military's ability to conduct further chemical weapons attacks and to dissuade the Syrian regime from using or proliferating chemical weapons, thereby promoting the stability of the region and averting a worsening of the region's current humanitarian catastrophe.

"If this intervention is limited only to an air base, if it does not continue and if we don't remove the regime from heading Syria, then this would remain a cosmetic intervention", he said. He said he thinks this policy should focus on a political solution involving worldwide partners to get Assad to leave power.

Gabbard said: "Why should we just blindly follow this escalation of a counterproductive regime-change war?" George Grow was the editor.

  • Larry Hoffman