US 'disappointed' by Russia's support for Syria's Assad

US 'disappointed' by Russia's support for Syria's Assad
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expresses disappointment with Russia's continued support of Syria's regime, a week ahead of what will be a difficult trip to Moscow for talks.
2 min read
08 April, 2017
Rex Tillerson will visit Moscow next week for talks with Vladimir Putin [Getty]
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has expressed Washington's "disappointed" at Russia's hostile reaction to airstrikes on a Syrian airbase on Friday.

Tillerson's words followed Moscow's condemnation and questioning of the legality of the attack, which saw 59 Tomahawk misiles fired at the Syrian regime's Shayrat airbase.

"I'm disappointed in that response from the Russians because it indicates their continued support for the Assad regime," said Tillerson, who is expected to visit Moscow next week.

"In particular," he said, the response underscored Moscow's "continued support for a regime that carries out these kinds of horrendous attacks on their own people".

"I find it very disappointing but sadly I have to tell you not all that surprising," Tillerson added.

The secretary of state is due to visit Moscow next week for what will be difficult talks with President Vladimir Putin.

US military vessels pounded the Shayrat airbase with cruise missiles in response to a chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held Syrian village that killed over 80 people.

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, told an emergency session of the UN Security Council on Friday that the strike aimed to ensure that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would never use chemical weapons again.

"We are prepared to do more but we hope that will not be necessary," she said. "It is in our vital national security interest to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons."

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, strike on the base killed eight Syrian military staff, including an army doctor.