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UK attacks Russian support for Syria regime after US airstrikes

The UK government has attacked Russia's role in alliance with the Syria regime as international tensions continue in the aftermath of the suspected chemical attack and retaliatory US airstrikes.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has pulled out of a visit to Moscow saying "we deplore Russia's continued defence of the Assad regime".

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has said Russia is responsible for "every civilian death" in Bashar Assad's suspected sarin attack on his own people.

US President Donald Trump has meanwhile written to both chambers of Congress justifying his decision to launch the retaliation strikes.

US senator John McCain has told ITV News the US and its allies must add momentum to Mr Trump's intervention by working to force President Assad out.

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Fallon: We must work harder to find a solution in Syria

Countries need to unite to help bring peace to war-torn Syria - in a future which cannot include President Bashar al-Assad, Michael Fallon has said.

Speaking to ITV News, the Defence Secretary confirmed that the UK knew about a US airstrike on a Syrian airfield - launched in response to a chemical weapons attack on civilians - ahead of time.

He said he hoped it would serve as a call for other nations to "work harder" to find a solution, including the removal of Assad's regime.

I hope we will all now redouble our efforts to bring about a political settlement in Syria.

This is a civil war which has gone on for five years now, it has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, millions of people have been displaced.

We all now need to work harder to bring about a political settlement in Syria, a future for Syria, without a dictator who's prepared to gas his own people.

– Michael Fallon, defence secretary

Asked whether he was concerned about an escalation in tensions with Russia as a result, he went on to say that Putin had had "every opportunity" to help bring the conflict in Syria to an end.

"On the contrary, what [Russia] has been doing, is prolonging this civil war," he said.

"I think, now, Russia needs to think again about the influence it exercises over the dictator."

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