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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's office calls USA missile strike 'foolish, irresponsible'

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's office calls USA missile strike 'foolish, irresponsible'

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Syria's "sponsors", Russian Federation and Iran, were enabling President Bashar al-Assad's "campaign of mass murder against his own civilians".

Mr Johnson will tell his counterparts that Assad has no future in Syria, Russia must stop supporting the regime and a plan to rebuild the country must be drawn up.

Following the Tuesday attack, early Friday the USA fired as many as 60 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian military airbase American officials believe was used to carry out the chemical attack.

Aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems and radars were targeted, the Pentagon said.

Both governments have defended Assad against Western allegations that his regime carried out a suspected chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun on Tuesday, killing dozens of civilians.

"You used the initials, but I think that's a first for Meet The Press", a stunned Chuck Todd said immediately after.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson canceled a planned trip to Russian Federation because of fast-moving events in Syria.

The G7 foreign ministers, led by Boris Johnson and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are reportedly ready to offer Moscow the chance to rejoin the G8 if it complies with the demand.

US Treasury officials say they are preparing sanctions in response to the chemical weapons attack, although the Syrian government is already buried under US and European Union sanctions.

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The new airstrikes killed one woman and wounded one other person in Khan Sheikhoun, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saturday that the USA intervention was only "cosmetic" unless it removes Assad from power.

In a statement Saturday, Johnson said his priority was to continue contact with the United States and others in the run-up to a meeting of G-7 foreign ministers in Italy on Monday and Tuesday, with the aim of building "coordinated global support for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process".

"The recent USA attack will create a division among the countries in fighting terrorism and will divert the political talks to military solution". United States officials claim that the Khan Shaykhun chemical assault had been launched from the military site.

Putin and Rouhani said they were ready to deepen cooperation to fight terrorism and called for a diplomatic resolution to the war in Syria, according to Russian authorities.

"What America did is nothing but foolish and irresponsible behaviour, which only reveals its short-sightedness and political and military blindness to reality", a statement said.

Russian Federation is the Syrian government's main ally, and helped facilitate a 2013 agreement to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal.

The move "once again confirms doubts about the added value of dialogue with the British, who don't have their own position on the majority of current issues", the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

In this image released by the US Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter conducts strike operations while in the Mediterranean Sea on April 7, 2017.


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