McMaster: US seeks to fight Islamic State, oust Syria's Assad


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that "terrorists" were applauding his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump for launching a missile strike on an airbase of his Syrian government ally.

A one-day attack on a single military base has not done Mr. Trump much good, save for perhaps offering a brief diversion from his other affliction - his administration's increasingly obvious ties to Russian Federation and that country's involvement in the last US presidential election.

"But where I differ from this administration, and I took the same position with respect to President Obama, we are a nation where you're not supposed to initiate military action, start war, without a plan that's presented to and approved by Congress", Kaine told Todd.

"We are prepared to do more, but we hope that will not be necessary", she told the U.N. Security Council. He was by Trump's side during his meetings with Xi and spoke publicly multiple times to address both issues. Trump said Assad's forces launched a gruesome chemical weapons attack from the site earlier in the week. Haley said Russian Federation is supposed to be a guarantor of the removal of chemical weapons from Syria but obviously has failed in that endeavour. Russian Federation had its own military personnel at the Syrian military airport that the US struck with cruise missiles.

But he said that the Russian government deserved blame for failing to live up to its role - rooted in a 2013 accord - in ensuring that chemical weapons were removed from Syria.

The American strikes were also praised by Israel and by Saudi Arabia, two crucial allies of the United States in the Middle East.

The move was welcomed by the Syrian opposition and its main backers, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, but harshly condemned by Russian Federation and Iran, who back Assad and said striking his forces would complicate the struggle against extremist groups. In a statement carried by the state news agency SPA, a Saudi official called the strikes a "courageous decision" by Mr. Trump. "And I think that's when the president will make his decisions", said Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union".

Democrats were muted in their response. Sen.

The Syrian military said at least 7 people were killed and several were wounded in the strikes on the air base.

White House officials caution that Trump is not preparing to plunge the US deeper into Syria. Advisers said he was moved to act in part by the gripping images of young children killed in the attack.

"Damascus and Moscow assured us all these weapons had been removed and destroyed", a USA official told VOA, referencing an agreement in 2013 to eliminate Syria's chemical-weapons stockpiles.

Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson had been due to visit Moscow on Monday but said on Saturday that he had canceled his trip after developments in Syria. "Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has simply been incompetent in its ability to deliver on its end of that agreement", he said.

Such an incursion would also anger Russian Federation, which wants to protect a permanent naval facility which it controls at the Syrian port of Tartous. Trump is weighing next steps after ordering airstrikes last week.

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"At a minimum, the Russians failed to rein in the Syrian regime activity", a senior USA military official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

US-Russia relations are now "completely ruined" after the attack on what he called the "legitimate" Syrian government, he added.

Trump aides said that they could not unequivocally rule out future strikes against Assad's forces, but they cautioned that the president's decision did not signal a broader ramping up of US military engagement on the ground. But there could be other problems.

This is in the Kremlin's effort to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS. Despite the outcry from the worldwide community, Russian Federation continues to support Assad and participate in the ongoing murder of innocent men, women, and children.

Nevertheless, Russia's Deputy U.N. ambassador Vladimir Safronkov warned that any negative consequences from the strikes would be on the "shoulders of those who initiated such a doubtful and tragic enterprise".

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's Hassan Rouhani said in a phone call that aggressive USA actions against Syria were not permissible and violated global law, the Kremlin said on Sunday.

Iran has condemned the missile launch and noted that this will "strengthen terrorists".

US allies from Asia, Europe and the Middle East expressed support for the attack, if sometimes cautiously.

If there is to be a lasting solution in Syria, and if Assad is to be removed from power, it will have to come at the united will of all thoughtful nations who are tired of seeing more death and destruction in the region.

In the days after the Khan Sheikhoun attack, Turkey provided the Syrian Civil Defence search and rescue outfit with 50 protective kits for responding to chemical attacks, and trained them in their use, Anadolu said.

"That is a message for every nation of the world that is thinking about weapons of mass destruction acquisition or use".

Western countries have blamed the Syrian government for the April 4 attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun that left 86 dead, including 31 children. The global outcry fueled an emotional response from Trump, who appeared to abandon his much-touted "America First" vision for a stance of humanitarian intervention, akin to that of previous American leaders.

Moscow also claimed it shut down a direct line of communication with American forces in the area around Syria.