Tillerson, Haley issue differing statements on future of Assad in Syria

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Over the weekend, Alfano said that Europe's broad support for the us military strikes had contributed to a "renewed harmony" between the United States and its partners ahead of the first meeting of G-7 foreign ministers since Donald Trump took office in January.

But Tillerson, who is expected to visit Moscow on Wednesday for talks with Russian officials, said on ABC's "This Week" programme there was "no change" to the US military posture toward Syria. What we're saying is, other countries have to ask themselves some hard questions.

The strikes, which activists said left at least one woman dead and three others injured, came a day after the United States launched 59 missiles at a Syrian air base in response to the gas attack that killed upward of 80 people.

Trump would say he's simply flexible, an emerging foreign policy doctrine that leaves room for evolution and uncertainty. Fully support U.S. action after deplorable chemical attacks.

"There's always a transformation that takes place from a person who wins the presidency, and then once he assumes office he necessarily sees the world from a different perspective", said Edward Djerejian, a former USA ambassador to Syria and Israel who now directs Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. "We targeted fuel reserves, aircraft, and did not target chemical weapons storages", he said. Reluctant to put significant troops on the ground in Syria, the US for years has struggled to prevent Assad from strengthening his hold on power.

But as lawmakers called on Trump to consult with Congress, Trump administration officials sent mixed signals on the scope of future US involvement.

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"He will reiterate that sanctions will remain in place until Russian Federation reverses the actions that triggered them, and as well as on the Crimea-related sanctions that will stay in place until there is a change there", the official said. He rarely spoke of the hundreds of thousands killed and the millions displaced during the six years of clashes between the Assad government, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, and opposition groups.

The Iranian president dismissed reports that Assad's forces were behind a chemical attack as "baseless", according to a statement on the presidency website.

A senior State Department official said generally Tillerson will stress that the United States is willing to work with Russian Federation on areas that are beneficial to the American people, but will "hold Russian Federation accountable when it violates worldwide norms". Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saturday that the USA intervention was only "cosmetic" unless it removes Assad from power. Russian Federation had its own military personnel at the Syrian military airport that the US struck with cruise missiles.

Haley said "getting Assad out is not the only priority" and that countering Iran's influence in Syria was another.

"The aggression against Syria oversteps all red lines", said a statement published by Al-Watan, a newspaper close to Assad's government.

McMaster, Cornyn and Cardin spoke on "Fox News Sunday", Tillerson appeared on ABC's "This Week" and CBS' "Face the Nation", Haley and Graham were on NBC's "Meet the Press" and Haley also appeared on CNN's "State of the Union".