Russia, Iran warn U.S. against new Syria attacks

US military

"But we can start by working together to actually de-escalate the conflict", she said.

"We both believe in a unified and stable Syria and we agree we want to deny a safe haven to terrorists who want to attack both of our countries", Tillerson said. He also said that there can be no place for Assad in Syria's future. He added there was no talk Wednesday about a possible Trump-Putin meeting.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is in Moscow meeting with his Russian counterpart, has taken a softer line, saying he "hoped" the Syrian people would choose to oust Assad from power. He told CBS's "Face the Nation" that the threat of ISIS would first need to be reduced, then "I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilizing the situation in Syria".

Trump also recounted the scene at his Mar-a-Lago club last week after he gave the order for USA forces to carry out the missile strike on a Syrian airfield that had launched Assad's chemical attack, then discussed it over chocolate cake with President Xi Jinping of China, who was at the Florida estate for a summit meeting. "We're going to see how that all works out".

"Now there is a lot of speculation in the media, for example, that the Russian mission in Syria has already been completed and it will curtail its activities under the influence of the USA and will abandon Iran". Moscow has blamed Syrian rebels.

"I really think there's going to be a lot of pressure on Russian Federation to make sure that peace happens, because frankly, if Russian Federation didn't go in and back this animal, we wouldn't have a problem right now", Trump said, referring to Putin's support for President Bashar Assad of Syria.

"Anybody that was so brutal and uses gases to do that to young children and babies, it's OK", Trump said, describing Xi's reaction. He expressed strong skepticism about a preliminary investigation conducted by the United Nations chemical weapons watchdog, saying that its experts have failed to visit the site and it has remained unclear to Russian Federation where the samples have been taken and how they have been analyzed.

"It is obvious for everyone, that the violation of the worldwide law is inadmissible", Lavrov added.

Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, spoke by phone on Saturday, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, which said the United States had initiated the call.

It was an ominous start to Tillerson's visit - the first to Russian Federation by a Trump Cabinet official. Additional such actions would entail "grave consequences not only for regional but global security", Lavrov said.

Both Syria and Russian Federation have denied that forces loyal to the Assad regime carried out the toxic gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April.

Adding further fuel to rising tensions: the White House's move to circulate declassified USA intelligence accusing Moscow of aiding Assad's government in covering up the chemical attack.

The US now assesses that Syria has re-established a unit of personnel associated with chemical weapons that existed before the 2013 agreement in which the Syrian government pledged to give up its weapons inventory.

The two ministers are scheduled to meet in Moscow on Wednesday for talks.

The intercepts were part of an immediate review of all intelligence in the hours after the attack to confirm responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in an attack in northwestern Syria, which killed at least 70 people. Russia, Syria and Iran have strongly warned the United States against launching new strikes on Syria.

Trump tweeted in defense on Saturday night that targeting a runway made little sense and they were easily repaired.

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