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Trump's far-right backers rebel over 'hoax' Syria attack

20 April 2017

Tillerson said he sees no reason for retaliation from Russian Federation for the US missile strikes.

Standing firm, the Trump administration on Friday signaled new sanctions would soon follow the missile attack, and the Pentagon was even probing whether Russian Federation itself was involved in the chemical weapons assault that compelled President Donald Trump to action.

Sen. Lindsay Graham is calling for as many as 6,000 more USA troops to fight the Islamic State group.

The Syrian opposition has reported that Assad's forces have begun flying again from an air base struck last week by US missiles, and Graham says Assad is telling Trump - "F. you' - by resuming those flights".

It was the first time the United States has intervened directly in the Syrian civil war against the Russian-backed regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The comments from the Trump administration signal a new course in the foreign policy regarding Syria.

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"If this intervention is limited only to an air base, if it does not continue and if we don't remove the regime from heading Syria, then this would remain a cosmetic intervention", he said. Standing in a cramped conference room alongside national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Tillerson said Moscow had "failed" to live up to its obligations under a 2013 agreement to strip Syria of its chemical weapons stockpiles. He said that for that "this oppressive Assad needs to go".

Rouhani called for "an independent commission" by "impartial countries" into the claims.

Trump, who is spending the weekend at his Florida resort, tweeted a brief explanation Saturday of why the military didn't strike the runways in its bombardment of the Syrian air field, writing, "they are easy and cheap to quickly fix (fill in and top)!"

Earlier this year, the Syrian president said that the country's government had never used weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, against the Syrian people.

Beyond Syria are disputes over Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. He also said the top US priority in the region hadn't changed and remained the defeat of Islamic State militants.

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Johnson condemned Russia's continued defense of Assad "even after the chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians". He was set to travel on Monday. "He will visit Moscow as planned and, following the G7 meeting, will be able to deliver that clear and co-ordinated message to the Russians", Johnson added. "What we saw was a reaction to the use of chemical weapons, something I think many of us supported", he said. They were referring to the 2003 US -led invasion of Iraq after Washington said Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction - a belief that later turned out to be incorrect.

"What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines".

In the hours leading up to Trump's decision to order the strikes, Tillerson was among the most forward-leaning of Trump's top aides in suggesting the USA would deliver an "appropriate response". The groups Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently and Sound and Picture said the attack killed a woman and her six children. The Sound and Picture group said the airstrike hit an internet cafe, killing 14 people.

In one interview, Tillerson said he sees no reason for retaliation from Russian Federation for the US missile strikes.

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