Tillerson: Airstrikes 'warning' to Syria, not a policy change

Describing the USA attack as a "limited strike" that was quickly over, another senior ally of Assad in the region said toppling him did not seem to be a priority for Trump. As recently as March 30, both Tillerson and Haley had made public comments that seemed to suggest that removing Assad from power was at best a secondary goal for the United States and that his remaining was one possible outcome.

"As long as Assad is there, you're going to have a radical jihadi Sunni element".

The White House says that Trump spoke with South Korea's Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn about US strikes in Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack by President Bashar Assad's government on civilians.

"It's important that we keep our priorities straight".

In an interview to air Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation", Tillerson said Russians were not targeted by the strikes.

She told Marr: "This isn't just about one voice, this is about the global community coming together and our Foreign Secretary is working with his American counterpart as that is the right thing to do".

After years of calling for Assad's removal during former president Barack Obama's tenure, Washington appeared to be stepping back from seeking regime change in Syria in recent weeks.

The White House says President Donald Trump spoke with Saudi Arabia's king about Syria and he "reaffirmed strong Saudi support for the United States' military strike against the Sayrat airfield".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has cancelled a visit to Moscow next week as tensions grow over events in Syria.

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It killed at least 87 civilians, including 31 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor.

He said a solution could only come about if Mr Assad quit as president.

"Assad now knows there is a red line with regard to the use of chemical weapons". "But as he consulted with us by notice on this attack, it's incumbent upon him to consult with Congress". The country's government denies using nerve gas.

The statement also criticized "the hasty interventions" that followed the chemical attack, in an apparent reference to the USA strikes.

The foreign secretary called off his planned trip to Moscow after Russian Federation refused to condemn the alleged use of Sarin gas by the Syrian regime and reacted angrily to United States airstrikes launched in retaliation.

But what many found puzzling was that the attack on Idlib was different only in degree from what Assad's regime has been doing, with some consistency, for years.

The precautionary move, revealed in statistics made public by the command on Saturday, was taken as Russian officials have threatened to suspend the communication line the USA and Russian militaries use to notify each other about air operations in Syria.

In a statement, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Mr Johnson of living "in his own reality".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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