Russian Federation has provided military support for the Syrian government since September 2015, turning the balance of power in Assad’s favor.
“The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent, and Assad’s brazen gassing of men, women and children can not be tolerated”, Royce said. He has denied using such weapons, although the difficulty of producing them makes accusations that they are exclusively being deployed by rebels hard to believe.
During Thursday’s conversation, Putin called the gas contamination “an incident”, saying “it is unacceptable to make groundless accusations against any party until a thorough and objective worldwide investigation has been conducted”. U.S. intelligence has established that a Syrian government aircraft carried out the attack, according to the Times, pointing to Assad regime culpability.
The US, UK and French representatives to the United Nations have called for a vote on new resolution which would impose sanctions on “those responsible” for the attacks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, in a phone call with the Israeli prime minister, the Tuesday incident needed to be cleared up before making any accusations.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis said during his general audience that he was “watching with horror at the latest events in Syria”, and that he “strongly deplored the unacceptable massacre”.
Those comments were echoed by the USA envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley – but the ambassador has performed a U-turn since the Khan Sheikhun attack, holding up pictures of its lifeless child victims at the UN on Wednesday and calling for action.
Turkish officials say that close to 60 victims of the attack were brought to Turkey for treatment and three of them died.
The U.S. Central Command has had plans for striking the Syrian government for years, but those plans would potentially need to be tailored to the precise goals of a strike in response to the chemical attack.
“We regularly repeat exhausted taking points in support of a peace process that is regularly undermined by the Assad regime”, she said.
French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also bitterly condemned the massacre, and said that the Syrian president would eventually be tried for war crimes.
Trump has long criticized Obama for failing to act decisively in the region to root out the Islamic State group and other violent extremists, but also promised during his campaign to follow a more limited military role in overseas conflicts than past presidents.
British ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft told reporters he hoped council members would agree on a draft resolution by Thursday, but vowed to press for a vote regardless.
Turkey would welcome United States military action in Syria following the gas attack and would be ready to assist if needed, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested Thursday that President Bashar Assad should no longer lead Syria in the wake of the chemical attack that killed dozens there and said “steps are underway” in the global community to remove him from power.
The April 4 chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun “requires a serious response”, Tillerson told press on Thursday. The Trump administration is not alone in wanting to take action against Syria, and Republican hawks in the Senate now have an opportunity.
At least 86 people were killed early on Tuesday in rebel-held Khan Sheikhun, and dozens more treated for convulsions, breathing problems and foaming at the mouth.
Moallem said Damascus wants guarantees that any investigation would be impartial and not politicized. Paramedics used fire hoses to wash the chemicals from the bodies of victims.
Turkish media have reported that World Health Organisation experts took part in the autopsies of Syrian victims conducted in a hospital in the Turkish city of Adana on Wednesday.
Also, if patients were exposed to sarin from a warehouse explosion, he said, they would have shrapnel wounds, as well as symptoms of nerve poisoning.