18:31 GMT04 August 2020
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    US Missile Attack on Syrian Air Base (200)

    UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson canceled his visit to Moscow, set for April 10, due to the recent developments in Syria, a statement published on the UK government official website said Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday night, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha'irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib on Tuesday, which Washington blames on the Syrian government. 

    "Developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally. My priority is now to continue contact with the US and others in the run up to the G7 meeting on 10-11 April — to build coordinated international support for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process. I will be working to arrange for other like-minded partners to meet and explore next steps soon too," Johnson was quoted as saying in the statement.

    ​Johnson added that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would convey the joint Western position on Syria during his visit to Russia, set for next week.

    "I discussed these plans in detail with Secretary Tillerson. He will visit Moscow as planned and, following the G7 meeting, will be able to deliver that clear and co-ordinated message to the Russians," Johnson added.

    The British Embassy told Sputnik on Saturday that it had informed the Russian Foreign Ministry about the cancellation of UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's visit to Moscow, which was scheduled for April 10.

    "The embassy informed the Russian Foreign Ministry about the cancellation of the visit… No new date has been scheduled… The British side will be in contact with the Russian Foreign Ministry on the issue of Johnson's visit to Russia," the embassy's representative said.

    Earlier US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that the United States will monitor Syria's response to Thursday night's attack to see if Syrian Armed Forces will retaliate or conduct further chemical weapons attacks.

    Syrian opposition claimed Tuesday forces loyal to President Bashar Assad had used a chemical gas on people in the northwestern province, killing nearly 80 and injuring 200. Assad argued his government has no chemical weapons after agreeing to have them destroyed in 2013. He also ruled out having used chemicals against own people.

    Earlier this year, the Syrian president said that the country’s government had never used weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, against the Syrian people. Syria joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and agreed to destroy its stockpile under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) oversight under a Russian-US deal after the east Ghouta sarin gas incident in 2013. In January 2016, the OPCW announced that all chemical weapons in Syria had been destroyed.

    Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that groundless accusations in the chemical weapons incident in Syria's Idlib were unacceptable before the investigation into the matter has been carried out.

    US Missile Attack on Syrian Air Base (200)
    visit, Rex Tillerson, Boris Johnson, United States, Russia, United Kingdom
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