Putin backing `evil person´ in Syria´s Assad, says Trump

Nick Mcbride
April 21, 2017

The toxic gas attack on April 4 prompted the USA to launch missile strikes on a Syrian air base and widened a rift between U.S. and Russian relations. China, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstained.

The U.S. has blamed the Syrian government for launching a deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun that killed over 80 people on April 4, and responded by striking a Syrian air base.

President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that U.S. -Russia ties "may be at an all-time low", and Tillerson struck a similar tone after a day of talks in Moscow. Russian Federation has alleged that the victims were killed by toxic agents released from a rebel chemical arsenal and warned against putting the blame on Damascus until an independent inquiry has been conducted.

In Moscow, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was meeting counterpart Sergey Lavrov for talks which got off to a frosty start, with the Russian politician branding the American cruise missile strike "illegal".

The Russian leader also accused the West of playing the Syrian card to try to consolidate the solidarity shaken by Trump's election victory by casting Russia as a common enemy. "I think, new attempts will be made".

Trump's comments on the state of U.S.

In some ways, Russia's official military presence in Syria could make the situation potentially even more menacing now compared to what it was during the war in Vietnam, when the Soviet Union never officially acknowledged its military involvement. Most recently, Russian Federation blocked a council resolution in February condemning Syria for chemical attacks using chlorine gas.

Analysis of the samples was carried out by chemical weapons scientists at Porton Down and tested positive for sarin "or a sarin-like substance". The U.S. issued advance notice to Russian Federation to avoid hitting its personnel before unleashing a volley of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. warships in the Mediterranean.

Putin denounced the US strike and called the chemical attack a provocation aimed at blaming Assad.

But the day before the United Nations vote, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a United Nations investigation into the incident -- though he blamed the incident on rebels, not Assad.

Aerial photo of al-Shayrat airfield where US airstrikes hit. However, this appears impossible with the recent confrontations between the countries over Syria, and the ongoing investigations of Russia's alleged interference in the United States presidential elections.

The draft resolution that Russian Federation vetoed expressed "determination that those responsible must be held accountable", and demanded that Syrian government gave "immediate and unfettered access" to all sites and individuals.

It also asked the United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, to provide monthly reports on whether the Syrian government was cooperating.

Other reports by VgToday

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