UK defence minister: Russia responsible by proxy for Syria chemical deaths

Posted April 12, 2017

It was later announced that Russia, Iran and Hezbollah would increase their support for the Syrian military after the United States fired 59 cruise missiles at the airbase from which it believes the gas attack was launched.

"Greater coordination between Iran, Syria and Russian Federation can be very effective in the fight against terrorism".

Sir Michael Fallon said Vladimir Putin's Kremlin was to blame "by proxy" because it was the Syrian president's "principal backer".

"We don't see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there", she said. "They are repeating offense of their predecessors", Khamenei was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

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Iran has provided crucial military and economic assistance to Assad throughout the six-year civil war.

"You pick and choose your battles and when we're looking at this, it's about changing up priorities and our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out", Haley had said on March 30, just days before dozens of Syrian civilians died from chemical weapons injuries.

It is not immediately clear who was responsible for the strikes on Friday and Saturday in Khan Sheikhoun, but only Russian and Syrian aircraft have been bombing the rebel-held areas of Idlib province. The strike was the first time American forces targeted a Syrian government installation in the course of the war.

Two days after the USA launched military strikes on a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack widely blamed on the Assad regime, Haley said the departure of Assad was inevitable.

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The Foreign Secretary pulled out of a visit to Moscow just hours before he was due to fly out, attacking Vladimir Putin's continued support of Bashar Assad's regime.

The Syrian forces resumed flight operations at the airbase that was hit by the USA on Friday, an opposition group said.

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

But he said Turkey could not "remain silent" on the Syrian government's chemical weapons use, and insisted Moscow work with Ankara to establish a transitional government in Damascus.

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"That's not a position any foreign secretary would want to be in".