Russia vetoes UN resolution to condemn Syria chemical attack

The rhetorical salvos came as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson received an unusually hostile reception in Moscow, where any hope that the Trump administration would herald less confrontational relations was dashed in the week after the US missile strike on Syria.

An anonymous senior United States official told CNN that, while the USA allegedly has proof that Damascus is responsible for the chemical incident in Idlib, Syria, it has uncovered no such evidence implicating Moscow, because Russian Federation is wilier in scrambling its communications.

As Trump spoke, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on an official visit to Moscow where he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reaffirmed the two countries' joint fight against terrorism.

There is a low level of trust between our two countries. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", Tillerson told a Moscow news conference.

Tillerson said the us has conclusive evidence that the Syrian government planned and executed the chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun that left at least 89 people dead.

Not long before Trump spoke, Russian Federation vetoed a Western-backed United Nations resolution that would have condemned the chemical weapons attack and demanded a speedy investigation. He described them all as failures - an implicit warning against any efforts to achieve the same end in Syria.

The White House wants to see Russian Federation drop its support for Assad, whom Trump labelled a "butcher". Then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin during the campaign, and he suggested a rapprochement with Russian Federation was both desirable and possible. The US scoops up such a large volume of communications intercepts in areas like Syria and Iraq, the material often is not processed unless there is a particular event that requires analysts to go back and look for supporting intelligence material. Trump said it was "certainly possible" though "probably unlikely".

The UN motion also would have forced the Syrian Assad government to cooperate in an global investigation into the incident.

President Trump's United Nations envoy Nikki Haley told the Council that "Russia once again has chosen to side with Assad, even as the rest of the world, including the Arab world, overwhelmingly comes together to condemn this murderous regime", pointing out that "If the regime is innocent, as Russian Federation claims, the information requested in this resolution would have vindicated them".

Mr Tillerson also said that the Trump administration's position was clear: Bashar al Assad has to relinquish the presidency. Indeed, Trump said they may be "at an all-time low".

He added that Syria after the USA strike will not be the same as before the strike, with Trump administration sending a message that the US will have a say in how could the crisis be resolved in Syria. "We hope that the USA president will become aware of that analysis", he said Thursday. How that occurs, we leave that to the process going forward. "And it was very, very successfully done, as you well know", he said.

Asked whether Assad could be subject to war crimes charges, Tillerson said people were working to make such a case, though he cautioned that would require clearing a high legal hurdle. "Russian Federation is open to dialogues with the different areas, and not only to dialogues but also to joint actions", he said.

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