Putin says expects 'fake' gas attacks to discredit Syria's Assad

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base after he blamed Assad for the chemical attack, which killed at least 70 people, many of them children, in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.

"In no way do we look at peace happening in that area with Iranian influence".

However, he stopped short of accusing Russian Federation of being directly involved in the planning or execution of the attack, saying he had not seen "any hard evidence" to suggest the country was an accomplice to Mr Assad.

According to the statement, the allocation was to be used to provide clean water for 500,000 people, medicines and medical supplies to over 400 clinics and hospitals, and training for more than 400 Syrian health workers.

United States officials said the presence of Russian advisers at the air field used to launch the attack raised questions about how they could not have known. "There is no such thing as 'Assad yes, but ISIS no.' This focus that you can defeat ISIS as long as Assad is there is not true".

"We can not let this happen again", Tillerson told reporters as he prepared to go to Moscow, where he is to deliver an ultimatum.

"This idea that we're going to get rid of ISIS and then we'll hopefully use Assad and others to come up with a solution. And clearly, Assad is not that person".

Trump acts decisively in Syria: Now what?

Pressed to clarify, McMaster said the goals of fighting the Islamic State and ousting Syria's president were somewhat "simultaneous" and that the objective of the missile strike was to send a "strong political message to Assad".

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is interviewed February 10, 2017, in Syria. Russia's not going to have your back anymore. "We have the capability to do both".

Spicer said later his mention of barrel bombs as a potential trigger for further action by the United States did not reflect a change in position.

"I think that's dependent on the actors that are at play".

"You can not have a stable Syria without jihadist elements on the ground with Bashar al-Assad in power", he added.

Instead, Tillerson emphasised the administration's priority in defeating Islamic State forces in Syria and said little about the U.S. preference on Assad's future.

In 2013 President Barack Obama was denied Congressional approval to fight the Assad regime after Syria launched a chemical attack with Sarin gas on Ghouta that killed hundreds of civilians.

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

Moscow called the US airstrike an "act of aggression" and an "egregious and obvious violation of worldwide law that can not be justified".

"Why were they that defensive that quick?" asked Haley.

"Because we need to comprehend the strategy of this country", Zakharova told Russia's Dozhd broadcaster when asked why Tillerson's visit was not canceled bearing in mind recent U.S. missile strikes in Syria.

Meanwhile, Iraq's influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called on the Syrian president to "take a historic heroic decision" and step down, to spare his country further bloodshed.

But Haley suggested there has been a shift in United States thinking. I hope that this will be the first item on the agenda, " McCain said.

"I'm so happy now, I'm so glad he did that", Hassoun explained.

"The continued role of Assad must be under question", Turnbull said on Saturday.

What Are Trump's Next Options on Syria?