Show your cards on Syria, Russia tells Donald Trump
Russia is Syria’s most powerful ally and has provided the military might behind Assad’s grip on the country, which plunged into civil war six years ago.
Russia on Thursday challenged US President Donald Trump to set out his strategy on Syria after he declared that an apparent chemical weapons attack had transformed his views on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
On Wednesday, Trump said the attack on Tuesday against Syrian civilians that killed over 85 people "crossed a lot of lines for me" and now Syria was his "responsibility". When asked if Moscow would reconsider its backing for Assad, Russia's Foreign Ministry instead challenged the US to show its cards.
"I will tell you, what happened on Tuesday is unacceptable to me," Trump told reporters at a news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah on Wednesday.
"And I will tell you, it's already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much," though when asked at an earlier meeting whether he was formulating a new policy on Syria, Trump said: "You'll see." "Russia's approach to Assad is clear. He is the legal President of an independent state. What is the US approach?" Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned against "snap judgments".
"It's indeed a very menacing course of events, dangerous and horrible crime. However, sticking labels on everyone, prematurely, is not a correct thing to do, in our opinion," Peskov told the media.
Russia is Syria's most powerful ally and has provided the military might behind Assad's grip on the country, which plunged into civil war six years ago.
Trump has maintained that the bloodshed in Syria was the result of weak policy under former President Barack Obama's administration, reports CNN.
Several countries, including Britain and Turkey, have now said they believe the Syrian regime carried out Tuesday's chemical weapons attack.
France said it would continue to push a resolution through the UN Security Council that would force the Syrian government to provide flight logs from the day of the attack. Russia on Wednesday claimed that the deaths were caused by a Syrian regime airstrike on a chemical munitions depot held by a "terrorist" group.