Tillerson Heading to Russia, as White House Threatens More Attacks in Syria

Apr 11, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is heading to Russia today, where he’s meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov amid increasing tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the ongoing war in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not meet with Tillerson—a move that points to increasing conflict between the two countries following the U.S. decision to launch 59 missiles at a Syrian government air base last week. The U.S. says that strike was in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack, allegedly carried out by the Syrian government, which killed 86 civilians, including dozens of children. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer signaled the U.S. may take further military action in Syria—not only in retaliation to chemical weapons attacks, but also to attacks like barrel bombings.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer: “I think the president has been very clear that there are a number of lines that were crossed last week. I think what not just Syria but the world saw last week is a president that is going to act decisively and proportionately and with justification when it comes to actions like that. I mean, and I will tell you, the answer is, is that if you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, I think you can—you will see a response from this president.”

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spent Monday in Italy for the G7 meeting, where the foreign ministers discussed the ongoing Syrian war. Outside the meeting, demonstrators protesting the G7 meeting were attacked by Italian police. This is one of the protesters, Marco Rizzo.

Marco Rizzo: “The people in Europe and the Middle East need to wake up and find a way to make their real enemies pay the price [for what is being done]. Our real enemies are the governments, the banks, the big multinational arms manufacturers, who make profit with the blood of each one of us. This is the only solution there is. We think the only solution is not to expect anything more from these governments.”

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