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Tillerson: Russia bears responsibility for Syria chemical attack

Rex Tillerson.
Photo: Cheriss May / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday that Russia is ultimately to blame for Monday's suspected chemical attack by the Assad regime in Syria, Politico reports.

"Whoever conducted the attacks, Russia ultimately bears responsibility for the victims in East Ghouta and countless other Syrians targeted with chemical weapons since Russia became involved in Syria."
— Rex Tillerson

Why it matters: This follows President Trump's rebuke of Russia in a Reuters interview last week, for "not helping us at all with North Korea." That's a change of tune — Trump repeatedly said during the campaign that he thought having a positive relationship with Russia would be beneficial.

  • Tillerson was speaking on Tuesday in France at the launch of the International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons.
  • He said: "Russia's failure to resolve the chemical weapons issue in Syria calls into question its relevance to the resolution of the overall crisis."