Tillerson says no reason for Russian Federation to retaliate

Saudi Arabia is one of the most vehement opponents of Assad.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he sees no reason for retaliation from Russian Federation for US missile strikes on a Syrian air base.

The United States has been warned it crossed a "red line" with its missile strikes on Syria and faces retaliation in response to future aggression against Bashar Assad.

Much of the global community rallied behind Trump's decision to fire the cruise missiles in reaction to this week's chemical weapons attack that killed dozens in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the U.S. strike as "act of aggression" and said it violated global law.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to take a more patient stance in regard to Assad, saying on Saturday that Washington's first priority is the defeat of Islamic State.

British foreign minister Boris Johnson also had planned to visit Russian Federation this coming week, but decided on Saturday to cancel the trip because of the fast moving events in Syria.

Boris Johnson will meet counterparts from leading nations in Italy for talks on Monday that will focus on pressuring Moscow to pull out of Syria and ending Assad's grip on power.

At the United Nations on Friday, Russia's deputy ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, strongly criticised what he called the US' "flagrant violation of worldwide law and an act of aggression" whose "consequences for regional and global security could be extremely serious".

Haley's remarks represented a departure from what she said before the United States hit a Syrian air base with 59 Tomahawk missiles on Thursday in retribution for what it said was a chemical weapons attack by Assad's forces on Syrian civilians, a few days ago.

The two officials agreed to continue the discussion about Syria in person, the statement said.

"It is our hope that this will not be limited to the US action", Erdogan said while speaking about responding to the Khan Shaykhun attack as well as the broader Syrian conflict.

"Therefore, we demand that all should retreat from this unsafe escalation we are monitoring", said the secretary-general of the 22-member Arab bloc based in Cairo.

In his first televised interview, H.R. McMaster pointed to dual USA goals of defeating the Islamic State group and removing Assad from power.

The Turkish foreign minister, whose country is a strong backer of the Syrian opposition, said the US missile strikes were not enough. Advisers said he was outraged by heartbreaking images of young children who were among the dozens killed in the chemical attack.

The decision undercut another campaign promise for Trump: his pledge to try to warm relations with Moscow.

USA officials say about 20 planes were destroyed in Friday's attack on the Shayrat base.

A U.S. military official told CNN the Pentagon was examining specifically whether a Russian warplane had bombed a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun five hours after the initial chemical attack, with the aim of destroying evidence.

Trump spoke by telephone Friday with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who reaffirmed strong support for the military strike and thanked the USA president for his "courageous" action, according to statements issued Saturday by the White House and the official Saudi Press Agency.

I directed this action in order to degrade the Syrian military's ability to conduct further chemical weapons attacks and to dissuade the Syrian regime from using or proliferating chemical weapons, thereby promoting the stability of the region and averting a worsening of the region's current humanitarian catastrophe.

But as lawmakers called on Trump to consult with Congress, Trump administration officials sent mixed signals on the scope of future USA involvement.

Still, the impact of the strikes was unclear.

Iran has provided crucial military and economic assistance to Assad throughout the six-year civil war. Russian military personnel and aircraft are embedded with Syria's, and Iranian troops and paramilitary forces are also on the ground helping Assad fight the array of opposition groups hoping to topple him.