Britain urges Putin to end support for 'toxic' Assad

Posted April 13, 2017

On Monday, Tillerson met with G-7 foreign ministers in Italy to talk about Syria and similar conflicts, like in Ukraine and Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow Tuesday with an ultimatum for Russia: Side with the U.S. and likeminded countries on Syria, or embrace Iran, militant group Hezbollah and embattled Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

President Rouhani also condemned the USA -allied Gulf Arab states for supporting the American attack. "I welcome this renewed harmony".

On Monday, Col. John J. Thomas, a US military spokesman, said the USA has taken extra defensive precautions in Syria in case of possible retaliation against American forces for the cruise missile attack.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stressed the United States will take a firm stance toward Syria's Assad regime and Russian Federation, which is backing it.

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His comments came just after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Russian Federation to challenge the Kremlin over its support for Mr Assad.

Tillerson said Assad's days are numbered.

Tillerson said Russian Federation had failed to uphold commitments it has made to guarantee the elimination of the regime's chemical weapons stockpiles, and had not made enough progress in peace talks.

"There are clearly different opinions", Alfano said, adding that the G7 had reaffirmed its support for those sanctions already in place.

Last week's cruise missile assault on a Syrian air base "was a separate issue" meant to demonstrate that the Trump administration will not tolerate what it believes are violations of global conventions against the use of chemical weapons, Mattis said.

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The Russian Embassy in London also warned in a tweet that a G7 "ultimatum" to Moscow to cut ties with the Syrian government could result in a "real war".

"We have information from various sources that such provocations - and I can not call them anything else - are being prepared in other regions of Syria, including in the southern suburbs of Damascus, where they intend to plant some substance and blame the official Syrian authorities for its use", Putin said.

"We are really anxious about what Washington has in mind for North Korea after it hinted at the possibility of a unilateral military scenario", the statement said.

"Are we going to get involved with Syria?"

Putin said on Tuesday Russia would be urgently asking the global chemical weapons watchdog - the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - to investigate the incident.

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Tillerson will travel later to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.