After Syria attack, Tillerson vows to defend innocents

Posted April 11, 2017

It marked the first time Washington has intervened directly against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, who is fighting a civil war with the backing of Russian Federation and Iran, and the G7 ministers will deliberate the West's next steps.

The senior official said the USA has no proof of Russian involvement in the actual chemical attack in northern Syria.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialized nations met in Italy on Monday, looking to put pressure on Russian Federation to break its ties with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Reuters reports.

The move came as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned that senior Russian military officers involved in co-ordinating President Assad's campaign of repression against his own people could face global sanctions. On the same day, Tillerson said on a trip to Turkey that the "longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people".

On Thursday, U.S. forces launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat air base, which U.S. President Donald Trump pinpointed as the origin of a deadly chemical attack that killed over 70 civilians in the city of Khan Sheikhoun. USA warships fired 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian air base from which the US believes the attack was launched.

The two leaders spoke about the crisis by telephone as the USA president thanked the PM for her backing of his military strikes against Syrian government forces last week. NORTH KOREA A US decision to move a Navy strike group toward the Korean peninsula is a "prudent" reaction to a pattern of provocative behavior from North Korea, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said on Sunday.

That doesn't mean the US military would get involved and take steps to remove Syria's president, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who also spoke out Sunday morning. Tillerson says Sant'Anna di Stazzema "will serve as an inspiration to us all".

Yet the USA has sent mixed messages about what it wants in the short term; it's not even clear whether Washington intends to help oust Assad. He is scheduled for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov April 12.

Kishida said that "Japan supports the USA commitment in trying to take responsibility to prevent spread and use of chemical weapons and we confirmed Japan and the USA will continue to work together (in that effort)". Yesterday, he spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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Syria, though, topped the agenda.

G7 foreign ministers were on Monday to send a "clear and coordinated message" to Russian Federation on Syria as Washington upped the pressure following a suspected chemical attack in the wartorn country.

"I will tell you:. if you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, I think you will see a response from this president", Spicer said.

Britain is keen for the ministers' meeting to produce a tough statement and perhaps a threat of new sanctions if Moscow does not end its military support for Assad.

But there was no escaping the here and now, with last week's deadly chemical-weapons attack in Syria still fresh on everyone's mind, and nuclear-armed North Korea engaged in a new round of sabre-rattling.

His decision drew taunts from opponents that Johnson was a "poodle" of the Americans who had been told to stay home so he would not upstage Tillerson.

However, Tillerson said in television interviews that aired Sunday that the top USA priority in the region remains the defeat of Islamic State militants.

It also is unclear if Trump, who has expressed skepticism about multilateral institutions such as the European Union and United Nations, will have patience for the protracted negotiations that a comprehensive deal on Syria would require.

"The president thanked the Prime Minister for her support in the wake of last week's USA military action against the Assad regime". "To prevent military violence to escalate on and on, it's all about this".

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