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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UK's Russian embassy: Johnson decision 'deplorable'

Boris Johnson has cancelled his planned visit to Moscow. Credit: PA

The Russian Embassy in London has described Boris Johnson's decision to cancel his planned visit to Moscow in light of the country's defence of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as "deplorable".

The Foreign Secretary was due to visit Russia on Monday for talks with counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

But on Saturday Mr Johnson announced he would not be travelling to Moscow, saying: "we deplore Russia's continued defence of the Assad regime".

In a tweet on Sunday morning, the Russian embassy said: "It is deplorable that Boris Johnson found himself unfit to stand Western ground on Syria in bilateral talks with Sergey Lavrov".



Sturgeon 'doubtful' over effectiveness of Syria strike

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, pictured, has just completed a five-day official visit to the US Credit: PA

Nicola Sturgeon has expressed "doubt and scepticism" over the effectiveness of US air strikes in Syria.

Scotland's First Minister said she was concerned attacks would increase "uncertainty and unpredictability" in the Syrian conflict.

Ms Sturgeon, who has just completed a five-day official visit to the US, backed an intensification of efforts to broker peace and called on countries including the UK to do more to help those fleeing the conflict.

She said: "My doubt and my scepticism about simply dropping bombs is that it doesn't necessarily take us one single inch closer to that peaceful outcome."

She added: "What I understand is the instinct to do something in the face of the quite horrific chemical attack carried out by the Assad regime earlier this week.

"That regime is completely beyond the pale."

Saudi monarch congratulates Trump over Syria strike

King Salman said Donald Trump's response to the chemical attack was the right one. Credit: AP

Saudi monarch King Salman has congratulated Donald Trump for his "courageous decision" to carry out a missile strike on a Syria airbase.

The strikes were ordered by the US President in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, which has been blamed on the country's government.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported that Salman spoke to the US president by telephone on Friday.

Saudi Arabia said the missile launch by Mr Trump was the right response to "the crimes of this regime to its people in light of the failure of the international community to stop it".

The kingdom is among the most vehement opponents of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and supports Sunni rebel groups fighting to oust him.

The Sunni rulers of Saudi Arabia are engaged in a power struggle for regional dominance with Iran's Shia government, and view Tehran's support of Mr Assad as a threat to the region.

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