After Syria strike, Trump's emerging doctrine is flexibility


Russian Federation has formally notified the United States of suspending a communications hotline with the Pentagon over the Syria chemical attack row starting Saturday, a spokesman for the US Department of Defense told TASS news agency.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday condemned as "flagrant USA aggression on Syria" a US missile strike on a on a Syrian air base this week and criticised Gulf Arab states for supporting it, state television reported. Haley said that it was hard to see a peaceful and stable Syria with Assad as president [CNN report], based on his action and the current situation in Syria.

On Thursday, President Trump authorized the use of military force in Syria, via a cruise missile strike, which targeted one of Bashar Al-Assad's airfields.

US President Donald Trump ordered the missile strike after watching television images of infants suffering from chemical weapons injuries.

Instead, Tillerson emphasized the administration's priority in defeating Islamic State forces in Syria and said little about the U.S.'s preference on Assad's future.

Syria decried a US missile strike early Friday, April 7, 2017 on a government-controlled air base where USA officials say the Syrian military launched a deadly chemical attack earlier this week.

But the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the deadly gas contamination was caused by the explosion of chemical weapons produced and stored by the rebels, after Syrian aircraft bombed the area. Syria's governmental SANA news agency said six people died, but later reported the deaths of nine civilians.

It said Mr Lavrov and his USA counterpart agreed to continue discussions on Syria in person.

H.R. McMaster called on Russia to question its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying it's time for Russian leadership "to re-evaluate what are they doing in the Middle East".

But Russia and Syria's other key ally, Iran, on Saturday vowed to continue fighting in the country after army chiefs General Valery Gerasimov and Major General Mohammad Bagheri spoke by phone.

"We condemn the USA missile attacks on Syria and consider it a clear violation of a country's sovereignty".

Johnson said he had discussed his plans "in detail" with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, adding that Tillerson would still visit Moscow as planned following the G7 summit on April 10-11 to "deliver that clear and coordinated message to the Russians". Both countries belong to the USA -led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Syria.

"I think there's a degree of reality we have to understand in terms of the political reality on the ground".



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