Rubio hopes Trump reconsiders ISIS focus in Syria strategy

He spoke several days after Trump ordered missile strikes on a Syrian airbase from which Assad earlier last week apparently launched a chemical attack on civilians living in rebel territory, killing a reported 87 people.

Johnson was to visit Moscow on Monday, a main ally of the Syrian regime headed by President Bashar al-Assad.

Other than that, he added, "there is no change to our military posture" toward Syria.

Tillerson stopped short of accusing Russian Federation of direct involvement in planning or carrying out the attack, saying he had not seen "any hard evidence" to suggest Moscow was an accomplice to Assad.

Some US and other Western counterterrorism officials have said the missile strike could, nonetheless make the fight against the IS in Syria more hard.

Asked if he and President Trump would "organize an worldwide coalition" to remove Assad, Tillerson responded, "Those steps are under way".

A US -led coalition has been bombing Islamic State-held territory across Syria, launching 24 strikes on Thursday alone, according to the USA military's Central Command.

Pressed to clarify Sunday, National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said the goals of fighting ISIS and ousting Assad were somewhat "simultaneous" and that the objective of the missile strikes were to send a "strong political message".

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It was a question that McMaster struggled to address in an appearance on Fox News Sunday.

McMaster also made clear that Trump wants a world-wide response to Assad's action that would include Russian Federation and Iran.

Until Thursday, the Trump administration seemed to be following the president's original policy against greater involvement in Syria.

"It is required", he said.

A communication link between US and Russian military officials has protected pilots flying missions over the crowded skies of war-ravaged Syria, but now Moscow says it is suspending its co-operation over an American missile strike.

"The president has some inherent (constitutional) power", Cardin said.

"The strike was a message to Bashar al-Assad that your multiple violations of your agreements at the United Nations, your agreements under the chemical weapons charter back in 2013 - that those would not go without a response in the future". "And if there is going to be use of force in a continuing basis, he needs the authorization of Congress".

Rubio, a Republican, had said last week it wasn't a coincidence Tillerson suggested Assad could remain in power and then there were attacks using chemical weapons. Airwars, a non-profit monitoring airstrikes in the war against the Islamic State group, noted that US -led attacks typically focus on areas away from Russian activity, though ending the co-operation represents "a worrying development". The Iraq government had on Friday released a statement condemning the chemical attack but also criticising the American response as "hasty".

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