Obama aides push back against criticism of inaction on Syria

Posted April 11, 2017

The attack came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib Governorate on April 4. Turkey provides military support to some of Syria's opposition forces.

She told Marr: "We are not going to speculate on hypothetical scenarios and situations but what we will do is continue to provide the life saving support that is required when we see such enormous medical emergencies".

The United States has blamed the chemical attack, launched on a town in Syria's Idlib province, on the administration of President Bashar Assad, which has been entangled in a civil war fighting opposition groups ranging from moderate rebels to US -designated terrorist organizations since 2011.

He is expected to deliver a "clear and coordinated" message to the Kremlin later this week after Mr Johnson cancelled his own visit to the Russian capital following conversations with Mr Trump's team.

"We call on Russian Federation to do everything possible to bring about a political settlement in Syria and work with the rest of the worldwide community to ensure that the shocking events of the last week are never repeated", he said.

Saudi Arabia, one of the most vehement opponents of Assad, said the missile barrage was the right response to "the crimes of this regime to its people in light of the failure of the worldwide community to stop it". "That choice is to stick like glue to the Assad regime - that toxic regime which poisons its own people and is indeed poisoning the reputation of Russian Federation - or to work with the rest of world to find a political solution", he said.

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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Iran and Russian Federation are the closest allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Both agreed completely that the Assad family do not have a role in leading the country towards its future", the Foreign Office official briefed on the talks said. New York Magazine reported that Kushner argued that Trump needed to push the Assad regime.

Much like Trump's presidency, the missile strike was another loud but ultimately empty gesture by a president who incapable of formulating and pursuing coherent policies. "That's at least what I've heard", Graham said on NBC News.

Washington has long backed rebels fighting Assad in a multi-sided civil war that has killed more than 400,000 people and driven half of Syrians from their homes since 2011. He said the most ideal process would be a political solution that leads to a transitional government.

Dislodging al-Assad, some administration officials fear, could be just as bad or worse than the status quo. He must understand that Assad is now toxic in every sense.

"The question thus arises: who once again slipped something in to yet another U.S. president as "evidence" of the existence of "chemical weapons" in a country Washington objects to, and what exactly was it?"