Seeking to salvage ties, US and Russia agree on Syria probe

President Donald Trump moves to overhaul restrictions on carbon emissionsJIM WATSON

Where is evidence of chemical weapons use by Syrian troops?

The resolution, which was drawn up Britain, France and the United States, was backed by 10 nations, opposed by Russian Federation and Bolivia, while China, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstained.

President Vladimir Putin received Lavrov and Tillerson at the Kremlin Palace, spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters later.

President Donald Trump says the not going to get involved in Syria but that he had to act because of chemical attacks there.

Last week, Russian Federation presented a draft resolution on the chemical attack in Syrian Idlib calling for a proper investigation into the incident.

Russian Federation has been bombing rebel-held areas in Syria since September 2015.

Earlier in the day, rebel gunmen fired on the buses waiting to enter the two pro-government towns in Idlib province, Syrian media reported.

The toxic gas attack on April 4 prompted the United States to launch missile strikes on a Syrian air base and widened a rift between the United States and Russian Federation.

The resolution would have compelled the Syrian government to provide helicopter pilots for interviews with global inspectors and flight logs that could provide evidence of flights in the air over the city where the gas attack took place.

A new Morning Consult/Politico poll showed that 57% of Americans support airstrikes in Syria, 58% support establishing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria including strikes against Syria's air defense systems, and 63% of Americans thought the USA should do more to end the Syrian conflict.

The pair told a news conference in Moscow that they had tried to seek common ground on a range of issues in a "frank" discussion.

Lavrov also announced that Putin has agreed to reinstate a military "deconfliction" channel to ensure there are no unintended clashes in the skies above Syria.

Putin also asserted that Syria has complied with an agreement to dispose of chemical weapons "so far as we know". "We are watching the regime's actions carefully".

Tillerson called for Assad to eventually relinquish power.

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"To my colleagues from Russian Federation - you are isolating yourselves from the global community every time one of Assad's planes drop another barrel bomb on civilians and every time Assad tries to starve another community to death", Haley said during a Security Council meeting earlier on Wednesday.

"Needless and senseless slaughter of innocent men, women and children is an obligation for all of us to stop, including Russians who use precision weapons to attack hospitals in Aleppo", McCain said.

But Russia made clear it had no intention to acquiesce. Assad is a puppet of Iran, and as long as he continues to slaughter his own people, it will be impossible to destroy the radical terrorist groups that occupy Syria and the region, and the war will never end.

Lavrov said after the meeting that both sides agreed that there should be an investigation into the alleged April 4 sarin gas attack on the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun - a strike that killed almost 100 civilians, injured hundreds more and elicited a fierce US retaliatory strike two days later.

At the G7 meeting, British and US officials were unable to persuade fellow members to adopt new sanctions against Russian Federation for the chemical attack.

Tillerson says the United State is confident in its assessment that Syria used chemical weapons in a bombing last week and alleged that Syria has used such weapons more than 50 times in the past.

"We have not seen a single fact, or even a hint of facts", he said.

The U.S. attack raised tensions between Moscow and Washington.

Tillerson planned to meet today with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a seasoned diplomat whose strident defense of Putin's agenda has frustrated several previous US secretaries of state.

He added that "we will vote against it if our partners do not heed our calls and promote this draft artificially with the sole goal of making the Russian Federation veto it again".

But his Russian counterpart called for an investigation by the United Nations into the attacks, stating that Russia had "no confirmation" that chemical attacks had taken place, and criticising the "media hysteria" about the matter. "I want to do it first to really do it right". But the US says Tillerson believes all evidence points to Assad as the culprit.

The Security Council is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. EDT to vote.

"A successful ouster of a dictator is for me very hard to remember", Lavrov said.



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