'No doubt' Syria behind chemical attack: Pentagon chief

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 24, 2017

Russian Federation blocked a Western-led effort at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to condemn last week's deadly gas attack in Syria and push Moscow's ally President Bashar al-Assad to cooperate with global inquiries into the incident, Reuters reported. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", Tillerson - who once received a medal of friendship from Putin - told a Moscow news conference.

Will Trump's often-stated desire to reset relations with Russian Federation come true or will the ties between the two countries stay at the "low" mentioned by Tillerson?

He said the two sides would also discuss disagreements on Syria and how to end the country's six-year civil war.

Speaking of the recent missile strike against the Sha'irat airbase in the Homs province of Syria ordered by Trump, the official said that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies responded to the move with "understanding".

"We strongly believe that there is no contradiction between a strong North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, credible deterrence on defense, and political dialogue with Russian Federation..."

Sestanovich said new USA policies will be needed to prompt new Russian responses. "I would like to think that they didn't know, but certainly they could have".

Until the chemical attack, the Trump administration had sought to step back from the USA position that Assad should leave power.

But after last week's alleged chemical weapons attack, and the reactionary US airstrike, this one was more highly charged than most.

Calling for an "objective and unbiased probe" into the chemical attack in Syria, Lavrov said that Russian Federation has no intention to shield anyone responsible for the incident and repeated Russia's view that the Syrian government was not responsible for the attack.

In another possible setback to a thaw with Moscow, Trump said on Wednesday that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is not obsolete, as he had declared during the election campaign past year.

The White House has accused Moscow of trying to cover up Assad's use of chemical weapons after the attack on a rebel-held Syrian town last week killed 87 people. It denounces "the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria, in particular the attack on Khan Shaykhun". "We want Russian Federation to use its influence over the Assad regime to stop the madness and the cruelty we see every day on the ground". Since when do United Nations votes to hold countries "accountable" spell the end of the offending regime? "Are we going to get involved with Syria?"

"But in order to give a definitive answer, we need to thoroughly investigate this event, and there is no other way, which is what we propose to do", he said, according to a transcript of the interview.

Trump responded to the gas attack by firing 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base on Friday. Washington warned Moscow, and Russian troops at the base were not hit.

For Trump, it's a dramatic reversal from his repeated campaign pledges to forge a new U.S.

Only weeks ago, it appeared that Trump, who praised Putin throughout the USA election campaign, was poised for a potentially historic rapprochement with Russian Federation.

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