Tuesday, April 11, 2017

WORLD_ Tillerson lands in Moscow as Syria tensions escalate


Tillerson lands in Moscow as Syria tensions escalate

White House accuses Kremlin of covering up Assad’s role in chemical attack

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson leaves his plane at Vnukovo airport in Moscow © EPA

2 hours ago
by: James Politi in Rome, Kathrin Hille in Moscow and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington

America’s top diplomat arrived in Moscow on Tuesday evening amid mounting tensions between the Kremlin and White House with Vladimir Putin warning Washington it was being duped into military attacks against the Syrian regime.

Mr Putin’s allegations that recent chemical attacks in northwestern Syria were “provocations” were made just hours before Rex Tillerson landed in the Russian capital for his inaugural visit as US secretary of state.

The White House, in turn, accused Russia of trying to cover up Syrian actions during the chemical attack earlier this month that prompted the US strike against a regime airfield.

In a four-page statement, the Trump administration said Moscow’s claims “fit with a pattern of deflecting blame from the [Syrian] regime and attempting to undermine the credibility of its opponents”. It added that Russia “spins out multiple, conflicting accounts in order to create confusion and sow doubt within the international community”.

READ MORE: https://www.ft.com/content/08735f18-1eb0-11e7-a454-ab04428977f9


It’s clear to all of us that Assad’s reign is coming to an end

Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state



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