Russian Federation responsible 'by proxy' for suspected Syrian chemical attack: United Kingdom minister

People carry Syrian flags and an image of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad as they protest the US military strike against Syria, in Tunis, Tunisia April 8.

Once the threat from ISIL has been reduced or eliminated, "I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilising the situation in Syria", Tillerson said in excerpts from an interview on CBS's Face the Nation.

We are concerned, however, that President Trump has not articulated a clear foreign policy in this and other instances - one built on underlying principles and measured objectives.

However, just days before the deadly gas attacks took place in Syria Haley had said that the US-led coalition wanted to focus on fighting Isis in Syria.

The change in direction comes in response to reports that Assad used chemical weapons against civilians, which President Trump said had crossed a line with him. Both countries belong to the USA -led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Syria. Earlier, U.S. military officials had said they were looking into whether Russian Federation participated, possibly by using a drone to help eliminate evidence afterward.

"Given repeated Russian blocking in the United Nations security council, the U.S. was determined to act", Fallon said, adding President Trump made "the right call by resorting to careful and narrowly focused military action". He also said the top USA priority in the region hasn't changed and remained the defeat of Islamic State militants.

Their comments came as Tillerson was making the Trump administration's first official trip this week to Russian Federation, a staunch Assad ally.

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A senior military source in the alliance fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad said the airbase had been mostly evacuated thanks to a warning from Russian Federation, which has deployed its military to Syria in support of Assad.

The discussions are linked to the situation in Syria, she said.

But he also backed calls for an independent inquiry into the suspected chemical weapons attack. Almost 80 people died in Khan Sheikhoun town in the rebel-held northern province of Idlib on 4 April after Syrian planes allegedly carried out gas attacks, which the USA said was the banned nerve agent sarin.

But he said the United States expected Russian Federation to take a tougher stance against Syria by rethinking its alliance with al-Assad because "every time one of these horrific attacks occurs, it draws Russian Federation closer into some level of responsibility". Moscow has been a steadfast ally of the Syrian government and has defended it against claims of chemical weapons use in front of the U.N. Security Council.

Residents of the Syrian town devastated by a chemical weapons attack Tuesday said warplanes had returned to bomb them Saturday, despite a US missile barrage and warnings of possible further response.

Russia's foreign ministry has dismissed the United Kingdom as having little real influence over world affairs after the Foreign Secretary cancelled a visit to Moscow. But Tillerson said he sees no reason for retaliation from Moscow because Russian Federation wasn't targeted.

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