Russia, Iran army chiefs vow to continue Syria fight

by Abel Hampton April 16, 2017, 1:19
Russia, Iran army chiefs vow to continue Syria fight

On Thursday night, the US military shot 59 Tomahawk missiles at the airfield in western Syria where the regime of Bashar Assad had itself launched a chemical attack that killed at least 87 people.

Saudi Arabia hailed the strike as a "courageous decision" by President Donald Trump and a Saudi ally, the United Arab Emirates echoed that support.

Russian Federation continues to back the Assad regime and denies the Syrian leader gassed his own people.

The comments from Tillerson and Haley suggested that the airstrikes Trump ordered punishing Assad for using chemical weapons would not lead to any immediate change in USA strategy toward Syria.

Pressed by Fox host Chris Wallace pointed explain Tillerson's statements that destroying Isis is the USA priority, McMaster responded: "That's exactly what we're saying".

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

Earlier in the day, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani criticised his USA counterpart Donald Trump for the missile attack the U.S. launched launched in retaliation.

The focus of U.S. policy has turned to possible Russian complicity with last week's chemical attacks which the United States says were launched from Syrian aircraft based at the Shayrat air field near Homs.

Meanwhile, an air strike killed 18 civilians including four children in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province on Saturday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based monitoring group.

Hundreds more suffered symptoms that the World Health Organization said were in some cases consistent with exposure to chemicals that include nerve gas.

"There's not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime", Haley said.

Russian Federation had agreed to "be the guarantor of the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. the result of their failure has led to the killing of more children and innocents", Mr Tillerson added.

Damascus and Moscow denied Syrian forces were behind the gas attack but Western countries dismissed their explanation that chemicals leaked from a rebel weapons depot after an air strike.

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.

The change in direction comes in response to reports that Assad used chemical weapons against civilians, which President Trump said had crossed a line with him.

Both leaders also said they backed "an objective inquiry" into the Khan Sheikhun incident has also caused a diplomatic spat between Moscow and London.

"The failure related to the recent strike and the recent awful chemical weapons attack in large measure is a failure on Russia's part to achieve its commitment to the worldwide community".

In the southern city of Daraa, jets believed to be Russian escalated strikes on Free Syrian Army (FSA) and jihadist groups on Saturday and Sunday in an attempt to roll back their gains in the Manshiya district where battles have been raging for almost two months.

New strikes hit outside the town on Sunday, with no immediate reports of casualties, the monitor added.


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