No G7 consensus on fresh Syria sanctions: Italy's Alfano

Rex Tillerson is visiting Russia

The US fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airbase after more than 80 people were killed, including children, in chemical weapons attack in Idlib province.

Up until the chemical attack, Trump had said Washington would no longer act as the world's guardian, especially if it was not in the interest of the United States.

Growing tensions with North Korea are also expected to be on the agenda, as the United States moves a navy strike group near the Korean peninsula amid concerns over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

And the USA appeared to threaten to strike Assad again, expanding - or so it seemed - its possible justifications for future strikes. So what we're trying to do is obviously defeat ISIS.

He will look to gauge Russia's willingness to work together to fight Islamic State and rein in Assad, whom Moscow supports.

He also said that May spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday evening to discuss the situation in Syria, and the pair agreed on the need to build support for a political solution to end the conflict.

"It's very hard to understand how a political solution could result from the continuation of the Assad regime", McMaster said on "Fox News Sunday".

"We have seen it all already", Putin said.

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 US support for traditional friends, while calling for closer ties with Moscow. I can tell you he is tough and he won't be pushed around.

Five days before the Khan Sheikhoun attack, Haley had indicated the USA had ditched the Obama administration's policy of removing Assad.

In comparison, Haley told CNN Sunday that removing Assad was a USA priority and inevitable. Tillerson said it was clear the US saw no role for Assad in Syria's future, given that he had lost legitimacy.

Syria has given a murky account of what happened, but denies deliberately carrying out a chemical attack and blames "terrorist groups" for the deaths.

Though such comments hint at a more activist USA foreign policy focused on preventing humanitarian atrocities, Trump's administration has generally downplayed human rights concerns while promoting an "America First" strategy de-emphasizing the concerns of foreign nations.

Tensions between Russian Federation and the United States have increased sharply since Trump ordered the missile strikes, and Russian Federation has sent a frigate armed with cruise missiles to a port in western Syria in an apparent show of force in response to the U.S. action.

Haley said "getting Assad out is not the only priority" and that countering Iran's influence in Syria was another. Earlier, U.S. military officials had said they were looking into whether Russian Federation participated, possibly by using a drone to help eliminate evidence afterward. Russian Federation flatly denies the allegations. "Russian Federation can be a part of that future and play an important role", Tillerson added in remarks to reporters.

Where does the U.S. stand on Syria now?

"In this particular case, were going to be very forceful, and I think as will Secretary Tillerson during his visit, to make sure that we let Russian Federation know that they need to live up to the obligations it has made", Spicer said.

Tillerson will go to Moscow Tuesday afternoon for meetings with top officials, possibly including President Vladimir Putin.

A key focus since the chemical attack has been on increasing pressure on Russia, Assad's strongest ally, which has used its own military to keep Assad in power.

The US airstrike on Syria's Shayrat airbase Friday destroyed about 20 percent of the Syrian government's operational aircraft, Secretary of Defense James Mattis claimed in a statement Monday.

"I will tell you: ... if you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, I think you will see a response from this president", Spicer said.

That two-day summit, which opened Monday in Lucca, brings together diplomats from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan - all of whom have expressed uniform support for last week's missile strike.

"Lavrov stressed that an attack on a country whose government is fighting terrorism only plays into the hands of extremists creates additional threats to regional and global security", the statement said.

"To date, Astana has not achieved much progress", Tillerson said. The regular meeting of foreign ministers from the G7 industrialized nations was dominated by the Syria crisis.

The official alleges, with corroboration from other sources, that Russian Federation flew a drone above a hospital as victims of the nerve gas attack started to enter, AP reports.

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