Cancellation of Johnson's Visit to Russia 'Clumsy Attempted Demarche' - Lawmaker

Since then, Mr Tillerson has spoken to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov who told the American that the United States strikes "play into the hands of extremists".

So far, the Russian military does not appear to have taken any threatening actions, such as directing its battlefield radar or air defense systems to confront the Americans, or carrying out aggressive actions in the skies, United States officials said.

Describing the US attack as a "limited strike" that was quickly over, another senior ally of Assad in the region said toppling him did not seem to be a priority for Trump.

As a precaution, the Defense Department is flying patrols in Syrian skies with F-22 jets, the Air Force's most advanced air-to-air fighter.

But Russia and Syria's other key ally, Iran, on Saturday vowed to continue fighting in the country after army chiefs General Valery Gerasimov and Major General Mohammad Bagheri spoke by phone.

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There, air traffic controllers and senior military officers are in contact with their Russian counterparts in Syria.

Both leaders also said they backed "an objective inquiry" into the Khan Sheikhun incident has also caused a diplomatic spat between Moscow and London.

There was little doubt the missile strikes would be seen in Pyongyang as a message.

"Justified and appropriate though United States action was, it was also necessarily limited".

Johnson added that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would convey the joint Western position on Syria during his visit to Russian Federation, set for next week.

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The coalition includes some 60 countries, with some launching their own strikes into Syria. On March 27 the command conducted 19 strikes in Syria against IS militants.

Host Chris Wallace followed up by pointing out that Assad is still committing mass murder, just with different weapons, and asking if the U.S. is now prepared to retaliate against him for attacks on civilians with conventional weapons as well.

"For his part, Tillerson on Friday said he was disappointed" by Russia's reaction "because it indicates their continued support" for the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Tillerson conceded that removing Assad from power could "ultimately" require greater pressure, including military action, from the USA or an worldwide coalition, but he said that isn't the preferred choice. Haley said she doesn't see a political solution in Syria with Assad remaining as president, but that other US priorities were defeating Islamic State and to "get the Iranian influence out".

"It is a clumsy attempted demarche, which is ridiculous in terms of big diplomacy", Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the upper house of the Russian parliament's global affairs committee, said. In no way do we see peace in that area with Russian Federation covering up for Assad. He questioned the wisdom of backing rebels, suggested that Washington should work more closely with Russian Federation to fight Islamic State, and noted that while he didn't like him, "Assad is killing ISIS". "We now need a long-term solution to this conflict". Rex Tillerson is going on Wednesday so it can't be that we have moved to a Cold War position of no talking whatsoever.

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