Can Trump Bomb His Way Out of the Russian Mess?

Apr 13, 2017, 01:46

UNITED NATIONS Russia blocked a Western effort at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to condemn last week's deadly gas attack in Syria and push Moscow's ally President Bashar al-Assad to cooperate with global inquiries into the incident. Those present in Lucca condemned the chemical attack at Khan Sheikhun that prompted last Friday's United States missile strike on a Syrian airbase, and agreed that President Assad could not be part of Syria's future - as they have been saying for years.

After a sarin gas attack killed more than 80 people, including children, in Syria last week, the Trump administration bombed a Syrian government airfield and has more forcefully spoken out in favor of removing Assad from power.

Mr Tillerson will hold talks with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after warning that Russian Federation risks becoming irrelevant in the Middle East because of its support for Mr Assad.

The plan was put forward at the G7 summit in Italy in the wake of a deadly chemical attack the countries say was carried out by Moscow's ally, Syria.

The secretary of state's role as messenger for a united G7 position is a turning point for Trump, who in the past alarmed allies by voicing scepticism about the value of USA support for traditional friends, while calling for closer ties with Moscow.Tillerson is a former chairman of oil company Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), which has very big projects in Russian Federation. Tillerson briefly botched the new anti-Moscow playbook while meeting with foreign ministers in Italy when he asked, "Why should US taxpayers be interested in Ukraine?", alarming the gathered diplomats and adding another twist back into the never-ending Russian melodrama. On Monday, Russia's general staff said two locations where chemical weapons might remain are in territory controlled by Syrian rebels. "No", Trump told Fox Business News in an interview that aired Wednesday.

Russian Federation has maintained that last week's Syrian government airstrike hit a factory where Syrian rebels were manufacturing chemical weapons in the northern Idlib province.

"Experts are aware that it is impossible to hide the traces of chemical weapons", Colonel General Rudskoy said. As the Federal Bureau of Investigation and multiple congressional committees investigate potential collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign in last year's USA election, Trump can point to his hard-line stance as fresh evidence that he's far from beholden to the Russian leader. "Russia is on an island when it comes to its support of Syria or its lack of, frankly, acknowledgment of what happened", he told reporters.But at the same briefing Spicer drew criticism after he sought to underscore the ghastliness of the gas attack by saying, "You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons". USA intelligence agencies have said similar.

Mattis was repeatedly questioned about the change in tactics in Syria.

Russian Federation has defended Assad, a staunch ally, against USA allegations that his forces carried out the attack, saying there is no such evidence.

USA relations with the Kremlin have become politically toxic for the White House on the back of claims Putin conspired to get Trump elected.

Steeped in geopolitical intrigue, the meeting between Putin and Tillerson wasn't formally confirmed until the last minute, following days of speculation about whether the Russian would refuse to grant the former oil executive an audience. The inclusion of those countries is important because the U.S. strategy for Syria involves enlisting help from Mideast nations to ensure security and stability in Syria after the Islamic State group is vanquished.

Smith called the images of chemical attack victims said to have spurred Trump to order the airstrike "horrific", but cautioned: "We also have to be mindful of our limitations, and I think in the past, certainly in the case of Iraq, we overthought what he could do".

The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says Putin may still meet visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. "But the tax reform and the tax cuts are better if I can do health care first", Trump said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said ties with the United States have deteriorated under the administration of Donald Trump as their top diplomats locked horns on Wednesday over the Syrian conflict. Such a message that can make it clear to every party that they are not faced by an incompetent hesitant president, but rather with one who can launch strikes against the Assad regime.