Tillerson: Russia 'failure allowed Syria chemical attack'

The United States confounded the worldwide community on Thursday night by ordering missile strikes on the Shayrat airfield in Western Syria as a response to last week's chemical attack in a town in the Idlib province of the country.

Syria's closest allies Russian Federation and Iran have defended Damascus against the allegations of chemical weapons use, with Moscow saying a conventional strike hit a rebel depot containing "toxic substances".

Ms Haley said that the decision to launch the missile strikes had been to tell Syrian president Bashar al-Assad that "enough is enough" and to let Russian Federation know that is was no longer acceptable to "cover for the regime" anymore.

Washington's allies voiced support for the USA action, the first time the United States has intervened directly in Syria's conflict. The U.S. and various experts have dismissed the allegation.

He attributed the chemical attack in Syria "in large measure" to a "failure on Russia's part to achieve its commitment to the worldwide community".

More than 320,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began, and strikes have continued since the suspected chemical attack.

Speaking on CBS's Face The Nation, Mr Tillerson said there was no evidence to suggest Russian Federation was part of the alleged chemical attack.

The United States has conducted air strikes against Islamic State, which controls territory in eastern and northern Syria, and a small number of U.S. troops are helping rebel militias. "There seems to be a difference between what Ambassador Haley is saying, and what she said last night that Assad really has no future, and what I heard this morning from Secretary Tillerson".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will not leave the field.in the face of threats", Khamenei warned.

That sounds a lot like former President Barack Obama's policy on Syria, the limited missile strike against a Syrian airfield notwithstanding. Damascus refers to all Syrian opposition groups as "terrorists".

"If Russia wants to be absolved of responsibility for future attacks, Vladimir Putin needs to enforce commitments, to dismantle Assad's chemical weapons arsenal for good, and to get fully engaged with the United Nations peacekeeping process", he wrote.

"The nation of Iran will remain alongside the Syrian nation in fighting terrorism and safeguarding Syria's territorial integrity", he added.

The statement did not include critical details like what kind of military operation would cross such a red line, or what kind of response would be made on the part of Syria and its allies, but noted that they would work to "liberate" Syria from occupation.

In a joint statement released after a phone call Friday, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel asserted that "President Assad alone bears responsibility for this development".

"Israel "fully supports" the "strong and clear message" sent by the airstrikes", said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • Rogelio Becker