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Russia knew in advance of Syrian chemical attack

"They basically thought this would be the start of a great relationship, and that this would be the first step in organizing a summit between Trump and Putin", Kim says.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the USA strike against the air base in Homs Province was a violation of global law.

Tillerson is due to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday.

Putin also asserted that Syria had complied with an agreement to dispose of chemical weapons "so far as we know". The attack, involving 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles, came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib Governorate on April 4.

Almost 60 Tomahawk missiles were fired from U.S. Navy ships in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on Al-Shayrat Air Base Thursday night, from where the chemical attack on Syria's Idlib province was launched.

G7 foreign ministers have failed to agree on whether fresh sanctions should be imposed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or his ally Russia, Italy's foreign minister Angelino Alfano said Tuesday. Putin had even granted Tillerson a friendship honor.

It was not yet known whether President Vladimir Putin would receive Tillerson, as is customary in visits of USA secretaries of State to Moscow. It would be the eighth time that Moscow has resorted to its veto power at the Security Council to block action against its ally Syria. He said Moscow has lots of questions about the "very ambiguous" and "contradictory" ideas emanating from Washington.

But it must first decide which side it is going to stand on, Tillerson warned.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday that those strikes were not as effective as the USA claims.

Tillerson spoke after a meeting of the "likeminded" countries was hastily arranged on the sidelines of the summit of the Group of Seven industrialized economies in Italy, days after the US for the first time launched airstrikes against Assad's forces.

While Trump said his administration would not send troops into Syria, he said Assad was "evil" and Putin's backing of him was to blame for the Syrian war.

Damascus and Moscow deny their jets dropped chemicals on Khan Sheikhoun and claim the atrocity occurred when a rebel depot containing chemical weapons was hit during an air strike. "I think it's very bad for Russian Federation".

"What I did should have been done with the Obama administration long before I did it", Trump said."And you would have had a much better, I think Syria would be a lot better off than it has been".

Following on from the Tillerson visit, Moscow has announced Lavrov will host three-way talks with his counterparts from Syria and Iran later this week.

Tillerson spoke after a meeting of the "likeminded" countries was hastily arranged on the sidelines of the summit of the Group of Seven industrialized economies in Italy.

The meeting comes as early expectations of an easy rapport between the Trump administration and Russian Federation are crashing into reality.

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