Turkey says US strikes 'cosmetic' if Assad stays in power

The United States stepped up pressure Sunday on Russian Federation to rein in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, warning that any further chemical attacks would be "very damaging" to their relationship and suggesting there can be no peace in Syria while Assad remains in power. "It just - if you look at his actions, if you look at the situation, it's going to be hard to see a government that's peaceful and stable with Assad", Haley told CNN's State of the Union in an interview, due to air in full on Sunday (9 April).

President Donald Trump ordered the strike in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians earlier in the week, which USA officials say was carried out by the Assad government.

The US fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria after Bashar al-Assad launched a brutal gas attack on his own people, including children.

Trump has received widespread support for the military action, taken to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad's government after the USA concluded he used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.

Damascus and Moscow denied Syrian forces were behind the gas attack but Western countries dismissed their explanation that chemicals leaked from a rebel weapons depot after an air strike.

USA intelligence officials are also investigating if Russian Federation was directly involved in the attack on Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, where 86 people were killed.

It was the first time the United States has intervened directly in the Syrian civil war against the Russian-backed regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

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Trump said he was sending the letter as part of his efforts "to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution".

The Senate's No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, says Trump's move sends a strong message to rogue nations, and agrees that the US needs a broader strategy.

The US and United Kingdom are expected to tell Russian Federation it must stop supporting the regime of Syrian president Bashar al Assad and instead help with drawing up a plan to rebuild the country.

The air strikes on the opposition-held northern town of Khan Sheikhoun, where 87 people perished in the chemical attack on Tuesday, killed a woman and wounded her son, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Tillerson is due to meet Lavrov in Moscow next week.

On Friday, hours after the United States missile strike, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Western allegations were "bogus".

"We've seen the evidence on Assad, we know exactly what happened", Haley claimed.

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