Russia 'responsible' for Syria deaths - UK minister


But as lawmakers called on Trump to consult with Congress on future military strikes and a longer-term strategy on Syria, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley described regime change in Syria as a U.S. priority and inevitable.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said comments made by people in President Donald Trump's administration are "partially to blame" for encouraging Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's apparent use of chemical weapons on his people last week.

The comments from Homs provincial Governor Talal Barazi came just hours after the Syrian government said the US missile attack on the Shayrat air base had caused extensive damage.

Russian Federation and Iran have drawn their own red lines in Syria in response to US strikes on an airbase responsible for a chemical attack on civilians. Moscow has been a steadfast ally of the Syrian government and has defended it against claims of chemical weapons use in front of the UN Security Council.

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.

"We will respond strongly to any aggression on Syria", the two Syrian allies said in a joint statement that flashed in a banner on Syrian state television.

"I'm a strong supporter that the USA should take action to protect humanitarian causes like the ban on use of chemical weapons".

"Rest assured that we will liberate Syria from all kinds of occupying forces, it does not matter from where they came to the occupied part of Syria", the statement warned.

"The entire administration was in agreement that this was something that had to be done", Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

Johnson said Tillerson will be able to give a "clear and coordinated message to the Russians".

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"We've seen the evidence on Assad, we know exactly what happened", Haley said. Syria remains the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Tillerson, on the other hand, stressed that the air strike had the limited aim of deterring further use of chemical weapons.

"In no way do we see peace in that area with Assad as the head of the Syrian government", Haley told NBC's "Meet the Press".

While Russia's support for the Assad regime dates back to the 1970s and 80s when Bashar's father, Hafez, was a stalwart supporter of the Soviet Union and an implacable enemy of Israel, Iran's support is based on religion.

Trump characterized the USA attack as "a targeted military strike".

"It is time for Russian Federation to withdraw its support for Assad so we can work a political solution to bring some kind of peace to this troubled land", Bishop told the ABC broadcaster.

But asked about the possibility of further intervention, the secretary of state said Washington's "first priority" in Syria is to defeat Islamic State (IS), also known as Daesh.

'Someone who uses barrel bombs and chemicals to kill his own people simply can not be the future leader of Syria, ' he wrote.

A United Kingdom government source said: "The important thing is that this is Britain helping to influence USA policy on Syria and Russian Federation, far from being a poodle".

"What you have in Syria is a very destructive cycle of violence perpetuated by ISIS, obviously, but also by this regime and their Iranian and Russian sponsors".