Iran's Rouhani wants chemical attack in Syria investigated

Boris Johnson, who was set to travel on Monday, said the situation had changed "fundamentally" and his priority was to continue contact with the USA to provide worldwide support for a ceasefire.

On Friday, senior US military officials said they are investigating whether Russian officials participated in or had advance knowledge of the chemical strikes that killed scores of civilians.

Iran and Russian Federation are the closest allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

But the strike could set in motion events that force Trump to take a more active role on the world stage, experts said, while others suggested the chemical weapons attack might have changed Trump's outlook on the role the U.S. should play.

"They're making a lot of noise and complaining about this and that, but the Syrians in some ways put Russian Federation in a bad position by carrying out the chemical attack", Mankoff said.

On Sunday, Russia's Foreign Ministry criticised a decision by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to cancel a visit to Moscow later this month, saying it showed a lack of understanding of events in Syria.

"I will be meeting with senior members of the coalition again in the coming weeks and we will expect to discuss these activities further", she said, talking up Australia's existing contribution in Iraq.

In contrast, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned what he said was a "unilateral military action without legal authorisation or independent verification" which risked intensifying the Syrian conflict.

On Wednesday, Downing Street played down the prospect of military action in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons against civilians, insisting "nobody is talking" about an armed response to the atrocity.

Donald Trump's missile strike this week against the Russian-backed Syrian regime not only damaged its chemical weapons program, it also happened to give the USA president a useful political tool. After years of calling for al-Assad's removal during former president Barack Obama's tenure, Washington appeared to be stepping back from seeking regime change in Syria in recent weeks.

Washington should instead focus on trying to ensure full compliance with the truce negotiated by Syria's warring parties and seriously work with Russian Federation to help the peace talks between the Assad regime and rebels that resumed in February bear fruit.

The ministry said it also showed once more that there was little to gain from talking to Britain, which it said had no real influence over world affairs.

In response, Syria's ally Russian Federation accused the U.S. of encouraging "terrorists" with unilateral actions. "Assad's principal backer is Russian Federation".

Former head of the British Army Richard Dannatt told The Independent the U.S. missile strikes against the Assad regime could provide an opportunity to push Russian Federation towards a negotiated peace in Syria.

It reported that stray missiles targeted at Shayrat airbase - said to be the launch pad for Tuesday's gas attack - killed and wounded civilians a few miles away. The Observatory said they attacked a position of the Islamic State group, while Osama Abu Zeid of the Homs Media Center said they landed at the nearby T4 air base, but did not carry out any attacks.

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