USA accuses Russian Federation of cover-up in Syria chemical attack

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers a speech on the first day of the Conservative party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham central England

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers a speech on the first day of the Conservative party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham central England

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shake hands prior to their talks in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Votel is commander of U.S.

Last week's USA strike on a Syrian air base destroyed a fifth of President Bashar al-Assad's working warplanes, Pentagon chief James Mattis has said. "I welcome this renewed harmony".

But Russia, an ally of Syria, blocked a draft UN Security Council resolution which would require Syrian president Assad to provide information about air operations and grant inspectors immediate access to air bases.

"The military campaign is focused on. breaking ISIS, defeating ISIS in Syria", Mattis told reporters in his first Pentagon news conference as President Donald Trump's defense chief.

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Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are expected to call Tuesday for a new global push to end the war in Syria, but are divided on whether to threaten new sanctions or other tough measures to pressure Russian Federation over its support of President Bashar Assad.

"We're calling (Russia and Iran) out", Haley said.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia praised the military action and described it as a "courageous decision" by U.S. President Trump's administration. Moscow is willing to discuss all matters of mutual concern raised by Tillerson and is ready "for any course of events", the ministry noted.

"How is it possible that their forces, who were co-located with the Syrian forces that planned, prepared and carried out this chemical weapons attack, at the same installation did not have foreknowledge?"

Trump says Syrian President Bashar Assad is "an animal".

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"I hope Russian Federation is thinking carefully about its continued alliance with Bashar al-Assad, because every time one of these horrific attacks occurs, it draws Russian Federation closer into some level of responsibility", Tillerson said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will press the G7 nations to draw up "very punitive sanctions" in response to last week's chemical attack in Syria, which the West has pinned on the Syrian government.

In a shift in Washington's strategy, US missiles hit a Syrian air base last week.

The warning came as White House spokesman Sean Spicer appeared to lower the threshold for new USA action against Assad to include barrel bombs, a crude yet hugely destructive weapon of choice for the Syrian leader.

-Russian relations. And it is being made as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to Moscow for talks on Syria and other matters.

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He conceded that "we need more evidence to impose sanctions, but we are confident it will happen". He has denied involvement and Russian Federation, which is backing the Damascus government in its six-year-old war with rebels, has stood firmly by its ally.

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