Syria, Russia top G7 foreign ministers’ agenda

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Last Thursday 59 Tomahawk missiles were fired on the government-controlled base in the United States’ first direct military action against Assad’s forces.

“It is clear to us the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end”, Tillerson told reporters in Italy before departing the G7 meeting for Moscow. They say that entails negotiating cease-fires between Assad’s government and rebels, who have been fighting both IS and Assad.

“We agreed that the role of China is extremely important”. Mattis said it was up to Syria to honor the 1925 Geneva protocol and the 2013 agreement between Syria and the worldwide community, in which Damascus agreed to turn over all of its chemical weapons for destruction.

Tillerson is due to travel to Russia after the G-7 gathering, and Johnson said he will deliver a “clear and coordinated message to the Russians”. Then Trump, the day after the assault, said his thinking about Assad had changed. “We can’t let this happen again”.

Until Monday, U.S. officials had said they weren’t sure whether Russian Federation or Syria operated the drone.

But one senior official said it was significant that Russian Federation suspended, and did not cancel, cooperation with the United States after the American air strike. He was awarded Russia’s “Order of Friendship” by Putin in 2013.

Ahead of the meeting, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano spoke by phone with his Iranian counterpart, asking him to use his influence on the Syrian regime to avoid further attacks on civilians.

After days of waffling and insisting Russian Vladimir Putin had no meeting planned with Tillerson, Russian Foreign Ministry sources told RBC television the two would meet Wednesday.

On Monday, Trump discussed Syria by telephone with British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The suspension of that agreement does not mean Russian air defense will shoot down incoming missiles in the event of another USA strike, but it will not prevent Syria from defending itself, Viktor Ozerov, the head of the defense and security committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament, told the Interfax news agency. Lavrov said USA allegations that Syria carried out the chemical attack “do not correspond to reality”.

“We will be discussing the possibility of further sanctions certainly on some of the Syrian military figures and indeed on some of the Russian military figures who have been involved in coordinating the Syrian military efforts”, Johnson said in a television clip shown on Sky News. “I now have responsibility”, Trump said, “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies…that crosses many lines”.

The Trump administration has dramatically reversed its position on Syria in the past week.

Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy, of the Russian General Staff, said Russia will provide security for worldwide inspectors seeking to examine Syrian bases, and that Damascus has agreed to allow the inspections. Syria has always denied using barrel bombs, though their use has been widely recorded by United Nations investigators.

He continued: “The Syrian government has lost the ability to refuel or rearm aircraft at Shayrat airfield and at this point, use of the runway is of idle military interest”.

The White House, meanwhile, made clear that it could mount further strikes against the regime if there was any fresh use of chemical weapons, despite a threat of retaliation from Russian Federation and Iran.

Trump had previously appeared disinclined to intervene against the Syrian leader and the attack raised expectations that he might now be ready to adopt a tougher-than-expected stance with Russia, Assad’s main backer.

Turkey’s health minister said Tuesday that tests conducted on victims of the chemical attack in northern Syria confirm that sarin gas was used.

White House spokesperson Sean Spicer.

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In a gesture weighted with symbolism, Tillerson visited the site of a World War II-era Nazi massacre in central Italy on Monday.

After Syria attack, Tillerson vows to defend innocents

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