dglobalnews.com Russian Inaction Helped Fuel Syria Chemical Attacks, Tillerson Says
Published: Mon, April 10, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Russian Inaction Helped Fuel Syria Chemical Attacks, Tillerson Says

President Donald Trump's military attack on the Assad regime was, in itself, a stark reversal from his earlier position to work with Russia, Syria's key ally, to negotiate a solution to the country's civil war.

Sadr said the US strikes would "drag the region to war" and could help "the expansion of Daesh", the militant Islamic State group, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria.

The statement, released by the Ilam al Harbi (War Media) outlet, apparently mocked former President Obama's warning to Assad in 2012 not to cross a "red line" with his use of chemical weapons or face a military response. "In no way do we see peace in that area with Russian Federation covering up for Assad", she said during another interview, on NBC's "Meet the Press".

"Once the ISIS threat has been reduced or eliminated, I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilizing the situation in Syria", he said, using an acronym for the jihadist group. Tillerson said at the time that "steps are underway" to form an worldwide coalition that would seek to remove al-Assad through some kind of negotiated settlement. "So I think we have to learn the lessons of the past and learn the lessons of what went wrong in Libya when you choose that pathway of regime change".

"Regime change is something that we think is going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that Assad is not the leader that needs to be taking place for Syria".

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Tillerson meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, just days after the United States fired cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in retaliation for the chemical attack.

Even so, Tillerson said, without naming North Korea, that "if you violate global agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken". He said he will remind his counterpart of Russia's obligation to act as the guarantor of the agreement to eliminate chemical weapons from Syria. "And yes, that will be part of the discussions". The Syrian government has denied it was behind the attack.

The two leaders who talked on the telephone on Sunday said an impartial investigation should look into the chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians last week.

On North Korea's nuclear capability, Tillerson said Kim Jong Un "has made significant advancements in delivery systems, and that is what concerns us the most".

Late last month, both Haley and Tillerson said separately that the United States was not committed to removing Assad.

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