Russian, Iranian presidents denounce United States strikes against Syria

20 April, 2017, 13:38 | Author: Valerie Burke

The regional alliance said the USA cruise missile strikes on the Syrian base which Washington said was involved in a chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians would not deter their forces from "liberating" all of Syrian territory.

Top Trump administration officials say a Syrian chemical weapons attack that triggered retaliatory American airstrikes hasn't shifted United States priorities toward ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"There is not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime", Haley said on CNN's "State of the Union". "If you look at his actions, if you look at the situation, it's going to be hard to see a government that's peaceful and stable with Assad".

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani said in a phone call that aggressive United States actions against Syria were not permissible and violated global law, the Kremlin said yesterday.

Haley told CNN removing Assad was one priority for the U.S. Others include defeating ISIS and removing Iran's influence on Syria. "It's important that we keep our priorities straight".

Military officials had "done the impossible" in order to continue using the base for sorties, the Observatory added.

President Donald Trump, before his election, described fighting ISIS and seeking Assad's removal at the same time as "idiocy".

Johnson on Saturday called off a visit to Moscow in the wake of the "Syrian chemical weapons attack".

"Getting Assad out is not the only priority". But in the aftermath of the attack, Trump ordered the strike targeting the Shayrat air base in central Syria's Homs province with 59 Tomahawk missiles.

On Sunday Tillerson blamed Russian Federation for enabling the poison gas attack by failing to follow through on a 2013 agreement to secure and destroy chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria. But there have been repeated allegations of chemical weapons use by the government since then.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday played down concerns of a rift with Russian Federation over Ankara's support for the strike, saying Turkey was committed to the cease-fire mechanisms it has developed with Russian Federation for Syria. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called al-Assad to reaffirm his support for the Syrian leader in the wake of the US strike, Rouhani's office said April 9.

'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, ' he added.

Tillerson is expected in Moscow this week for talks with Russian officials.

"Moscow needs a dialogue with London not more than it (Britain) needs it (Russia)", the Foreign Ministry said. On the same day, Tillerson said on a trip to Turkey that the "longer-term status of Assad would be decided by the Syrian people".

A statement carried on the military media arm of Hezbollah condemned the American strike in much stronger language, saying it had "crossed red lines" and vowing to "reply with force" to any future aggression "in a variety of ways". "From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well", said the statement published by the joint command centre on media outlet Ilam al Harbi (War Media).

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