Assad allies say US attack on Syria air base crosses 'red lines'


Trump said that the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib province on Tuesday, which resulted in the death of over 80 people, an incident which Washington blames on the Syrian government.

The question of Russian complicity in the attack also came up in an earlier interview on "This Week" Sunday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. "There seem to be a difference in what Ambassador Haley is saying, that Assad has no future, and what I heard this morning from Secretary Tillerson", Republican Senator Marco Rubio told ABC, adding that Tillerson's strategy won't work.

He said: "Is this what taking back control looks like?"

Their comments came as Tillerson was making the Trump administration's first official trip this week to Russian Federation, a staunch Assad ally.

"We don't believe we need dialogue with London more than (London) needs it (with us)".

"This latest war crime happened on their watch".

Also in a phone conversation with Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev on Saturday, Iran's Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani called for formation of an worldwide committee to investigate the chemical attack in Idlib.

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When asked about Washington's anti-Russia sanctions, the US Secretary of State said "there is no reason to be lifting sanctions". "We have the capability to do both".

Trump administration officials on Sunday blamed Russian inaction for enabling a deadly poison gas attack against Syrian civilians last week as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson prepared to explain to Moscow a USA retaliatory missile strike.

"Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behaviour have all failed and failed very dramatically", he said. "And I think it was important". "It's important that we keep our priorities straight. And that obviously means that there has to be a cessation of these war crimes".

McCain said a "one-time deal" won't be productive, and only going after chemical weapons "ignores the enormity of the problem". In January 2016, the OPCW announced that all chemical weapons in Syria had been destroyed.

The insufficiency of Thursday night's strike was proven nearly immediately, McCain said.

About 60 US Tomahawk missiles hit the Shayrat airbase, a small installation with two runways, where aircraft often take off to bomb targets in northern and central Syria. Once that threat "has been reduced or eliminated, I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilizing the situation in Syria", he said.

Mr Tillerson echoed the comments, telling Face The Nation on CBS, the Russians "have played now for some time the role of providing cover for Bashar Assad's behaviour".