Tillerson Calls Out Russia For Not Holding Syrian Regime Accountable

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"There is simply no denying that Russian Federation, by shielding its Syrian ally, has breached its commitments to the United States as a framework guarantor", Tillerson added in his speech.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday that Russian Federation was responsible for recent chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian province of East Gutha, AFP reports.

According to activists and rescue teams, Assad's government launched an attack with suspected poisonous gas that affected at least 20 civilians in a rebel-held suburb near Damascus, the Associated Press reported.

Such an assault, if confirmed, would be among the first in Syria since the dissolution two months ago of the United Nations Security Council's panel for investigating who is responsible for chemical weapons use in the war.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

A joint inquiry of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) determined that the Syrian government used the nerve agent sarin in an April 4, 2017, attack and also used several times chlorine as a weapon.

Still, the United States is hoping it can persuade the Russian government - Syria's most important ally - to bring the long-beleaguered but still-determined Assad to the negotiating table.

Turkey's shelling into Afrin came after the US -led coalition said it would form a 30,000-strong Kurdish-led border security force in northern Syria.

Turkish offensive in Syria
Turkish offensive in Syria

France, which is a permanent UN Security Council member, hosted a foreign ministerial meeting on the issue in Paris on Tuesday.

Haley criticized Russian Federation for accepting the JIM's conclusions when they pointed to Islamic State militants being responsible for gas attacks, but not when they found the Assad regime culpable. Her comments were in a statement released on Tuesday.

The Syrian war has grown even more complex in recent days with Turkey launching a new ground operation against Kurdish militia who it considers an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Tillerson, Le Drian and Britain's Boris Johnson afterwards held a closed-door meeting on Syria with the Saudi and Jordanian foreign ministers.

"I had the opportunity to tell my Turkish colleague that this offensive worries us", Le Drian said.

"In essence, a massive propaganda attack was conducted with the goal of slandering Russia on the world stage and undermining efforts for a peaceful settlement in Syria", the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Susan Shand adapted this story for you.

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