While the smoke clears from President’s Trump’s recent missile attack on Syria, the administration is putting pressure in another direction.
White House officials are demanding Russia pull back on their support of the Syrian government.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that Russia needs to ‘think carefully’ about their alliance with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, or risk further damaging the diplomatic relations between their government and the United States.
Via the Washington Post:
Officials in the Trump administration on Sunday demanded Russia stop supporting the Syrian government or face a further deterioration in its relations with the United States.
Signaling the focus of talks Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will have in Moscow later this week, officials said Russia, in propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, bears at least partial responsibility for Wednesday’s poison gas attack on villagers in Idlib province.
“I hope Russia is thinking carefully about its continued alliance with Bashar al-Assad, because every time one of these horrific attacks occurs, it draws Russia closer into some level of responsibility,” Tillerson said on ABC’s This Week.
National security adviser, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, is also seeking answers as to whether or not Russia knew the Syrians were preparing a chemical attack.
“I think what we should do is ask Russia, how could it be, if you have advisers at that airfield, that you didn’t know that the Syrian air force was preparing and executing a mass murder attack with chemical weapons,” he said during a Fox News interview.
And the warnings didn’t end there. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned the Putin government, “In no way do we see peace in that area with Russia covering up for Assad.”
Haley added during a CNN interview that “If he (President Trump) needs to do more, he will do more,” in regards to military strikes against Syria.
That said, McMaster made clear the fact that Trump would prefer a “political solution” to the Syrian/Russia crisis.
“We need some kind of political solution to that very complex problem,” McMaster said, though he chided Russia for “somehow think(ing) it’s OK to align with a murderous regime.”
These warnings and charged rhetoric come as Tillerson prepares to arrive in Russia on Tuesday, his first visit as Secretary of State. A visit with a decidedly noticeable absence.
Putin won’t meet with Tillerson in Moscow https://t.co/oTCR0BxosZ
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) April 10, 2017
These developments have to be difficult for the mainstream media to cover, considering they’ve spent months claiming Putin and Trump are in bed together.
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