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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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UK had 'close contact' with US over Syrian airstrikes

"Something had to be done" in the wake of an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on its own people, the Defence Secretary has said.

Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain, Michael Fallon said he was given advance notice of America's decision to launch airstrikes on the airfield from where the alleged chemical weapons originated.

Prime Minister Theresa May was kept informed about the strikes throughout, he said, and supported the US fully.

He said the UK had "never seen a long-term future for [Syrian President Bashar al]-Assad," and said the strikes had been careful not to involve Russian personnel.

We fully support this strike - it was limited, it was appropriate, and it was designed to target the aircraft and the equipment that the US believe were used in the chemical attack; and to deter President Assad from carrying out future chemical attacks.

President Assad and the Syrian regime have continued to flout international law. We've caught them using chemical weapons and gases elsewhere, and this latest incident in which nearly 100 people seem to have been killed is yet another example of, if action is not taken, innocent civilians are going to die at the hands of this appalling gas.

Something had to be done about it and we fully support the American action.

– Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary

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