Syria dominates G7 meet before Tillerson heads to Russia

Washington has warned Damascus that further use of chemical weapons could bring fresh US military retaliation, following missile strikes against a Syrian air field.

Syria dominates G7 meet before Tillerson heads to Russia

World Bulletin / News Desk

Syria is set to dominate Tuesday's meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Italy, with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson under the spotlight before he heads to Moscow, the key ally of President Bashar al-Assad.

The United States on Friday fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat air base near Homs, which the Pentagon said Assad's jets had used to launch a deadly chemical attack on rebel-held Idlib province that killed at least 87 civilians.

Washington's missile strike was the first time it had intervened directly against the regime of Assad, who is fighting a civil war with the backing of Russia and Iran.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who is hosting the Group of Seven talks in Lucca, will convene a special meeting on Syria early Tuesday, which will also include Turkey, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar.

Italian media said the aim was "to avert a dangerous military escalation".

Alfano has already spoken by telephone with his Iranian counterpart, asking him to use his influence on the Syrian regime to avoid further attacks on civilians.

The G7 ministers said Monday they aimed to send a "clear and coordinated message" to Moscow, where Tillerson is due to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

At the outset of the gathering, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described Assad as "toxic" and said it was "time for (Russian President) Vladimir Putin to face the truth about the tyrant he is propping up".



Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Nisan 2017, 10:16