U.S. officials say Russian inaction enabled Syria chemical attack

U.S. officials say Russian inaction enabled Syria chemical attack

In Monday's interview, Ford said he does not think the United States has the capacity for regime change because of Russian Federation and Iran's support for Assad.

With US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heading to Moscow later this week, he and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson went to Italy on Monday to gather support from G7 nations for a tougher statement of intent on Syria, with new sanctions on Russian Federation a possibility. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called al-Assad to reaffirm his support for the Syrian leader in the wake of the USA strike, Rouhani's office said April 9.

"Russia should ask themselves, 'What are we doing here?' Why are we supporting this murderous regime that is committing mass murder of its own population and using the most heinous weapons available?'" McMaster said.

In response to the attack, the United States fired cruise missiles at a Syrian air base on April 7, drawing condemnations by Russian Federation and Iran, which have given Assad crucial diplomatic and military support throughout Syria's six-year-long civil war.

The decision undercut another campaign promise for Trump: his pledge to try to warm relations with Moscow.

Second, in continuing deadly attacks on civilians, Mr. Assad seems to want to pursue a military victory at any cost, putting a lie to Russia's statements that a negotiated settlement is the sole solution. "We will react firmly to any aggression against Syria and to any infringement of red lines, whoever carries them out".

"I didn't want US direct force involvement", he continued.

The officials, who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the sensitive matter, said they believe the hospital attack may have been an effort to cover up evidence of the earlier assault. Reluctant to put significant troops on the ground in Syria, the USA for years has struggled to prevent Assad from strengthening his hold on power. It was also unclear on Saturday morning where the strikes had been launched from. That trip, too, is fraught with tension over Syria: Tillerson has blamed Russia, Assad's strongest ally, of either complicity or incompetence for allowing Assad to possess and use chemical weapons.




In an interview with CBS, Tillerson described Russia's explanation for the suspected chemical attack as "not plausible" and "not credible".

Moreover, a spokesperson of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said the goal of the operation was not to make the Airfield inoperable.

Instead, Tillerson emphasized the administration's priority in defeating Islamic State forces in Syria and said little about the U.S.'s preference on Assad's future.

Haley said she couldn't explain Trump's earlier opposition.

"We're hopeful that we can prevent a continuation of the civil war and that we can bring the parties to the table to begin the process of political discussions" between the Assad government and various rebel groups, he said.

"While people are really anxious to find inconsistencies in those statements, they are in fact very consistent in terms of what is the ultimate political objective in Syria", he added.

"What happened this week was really one of the president's finest hours", Haley told host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union".

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