The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US national security adviser urges Russia to re-evaluate Syria support

Iran Press TV

Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:15PM

US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has urged Russia to re-evaluate its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, suggesting that additional American military action against Syria is possible.

In his first televised interview on Fox News Sunday, McMaster said the US will simultaneously fight the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in Syria and seek to remove Assad from power.

McMaster said Moscow is "part of the problem" because it is backing Damascus in the Syrian conflict.

"If we would want to appeal rationally to Russia, this is a great opportunity for the Russian leadership to re-evaluate what they're doing," he said. "Right now, I think everyone in the world sees Russia as part of the problem."

The comments came as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson planned to meet with Russian officials this week. Tillerson will be the first official from the administration of US President Donald Trump to visit Moscow.

However, the Kremlin said on Monday that Tillerson will not meet President Vladimir Putin, highlighting tensions between Washington and Moscow.

"We have not announced any such meetings and right now there is no meeting with Tillerson in the president's diary," Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters.

He did not say why Putin was not planning to receive the top US diplomat.

McMaster said the objective of the US missile strike against Syria on Friday was to send a "strong political message to Assad" to stop using chemical weapons.

"We are prepared to do more," he said. "The president will make whatever decision he thinks is in the best interest of the American people."

Two US Navy destroyers fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea at Syria's al-Shayrat airfield early on Friday, in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on April 6 that Washington insists was carried out by Syrian fighter jets operating from the base.

The Syrian government has strongly denied responsibility for the gas attack, and there is no evidence that it was behind the assault.

The Trump administration appears split on the policy in Syria.

Tillerson has suggested that Assad's future was in the hands of the Syrian people, while US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has called for Assad's ouster.

Join the mailing list