Liberal leaders call for challenge to Gabbard over Syria skepticism

"I think the real failure here has been Russia's failure to live up to its commitments under the chemical weapons agreements that were entered into in 2013", Tillerson said on ABC's "This Week".

The nature of the substance used has not been confirmed, and Syria has insisted it would not and has not used chemical weapons.

Top officials from the administration, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the White House National Security Adviser all appeared on the Sunday talk shows, and presented seemingly contradictory and at times, frankly incoherent explanations of what the United States' role in the Syrian conflict will be moving forward.

Earlier in the day, Johnson announced in a statement published on the United Kingdom government official website that he had canceled his visit to Moscow, scheduled for April 10, due to the recent developments in Syria.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has cancelled his trip to Moscow following US missile strikes in Syria, which Moscow has denounced.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus said Sunday it would be "premature" to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad right away without knowing what dominoes will fall once Assad is gone.

Sky News Political Correspondent Tamara Cohen said: "The meeting was seen as an attempt at bridge-building after Mr Johnson's high-profile swipes at Russian Federation, accusing them previous year of "war crimes" in Syria and perpetrating more violence in Ukraine".

"I hope they'll reconsider 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".

Tillerson was critical of Russia immediately after the US airstrikes Thursday in Syria but made clear Sunday that Russians were not the target. He later added, "She sounds like Trump making excuses".

"The global backdrop was that the United States appeared to have no appetite to oust Assad in Syria, and that Britain's relationship with his backers in Russian Federation must not be allowed to go into a deep freeze".

Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke by telephone about "the unacceptable nature of American aggression", a statement from Moscow said.

The Obama administration provided limited support for anti-Assad rebels, but never directly struck government targets after Obama called off such strikes four years ago, at a time when Trump also said attacking Assad would be a mistake.

McMaster also made clear that Trump wants a world-wide response to Assad's action that would include Russian Federation and Iran.

The United States has blamed the chemical weapons attack on the Assad regime, which has been embroiled in a civil war against various opposition groups, including moderate rebels and USA -designated terrorist organizations since 2011.

A US -led coalition has been providing air and ground support to Iraqi forces battling Islamic State, allowing them to recapture most of the cities they had overrun in 2014 in Sunni areas of northern and western Iraq.

  • Joey Payne