The United States is vowing to keep up the pressure on Syria after the intense nighttime wave of missile strikes from U.S. ships, despite the prospect of escalating Russian ill will that could further inflame one of the world's most vexing conflicts.
"You pick and choose your battles and when we're looking at this, it's about changing up priorities and our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out", Haley told reporters on 30 March, just days before dozens of Syrian civilians deceased from chemical weapons injuries.
Defeating Islamic State, pushing Iranian influence out of Syria, and the ousting of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad are priorities for Washington, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said.
Standing firm, the Trump administration on Friday signaled new sanctions would soon follow the missile attack, and the Pentagon was even probing whether Russian Federation itself was involved in the chemical weapons assault that compelled President Donald Trump to action. As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was making the Trump administration's first official trip this week to Russia, McMaster said Russia will have to decide whether it wanted to continue backing a "murderous regime".
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, meanwhile, canceled his planned Monday visit to Moscow, citing developments in Syria. Tillerson is due to meet Lavrov in Moscow next week.
At the United Nations on Friday, Russia's deputy ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, strongly criticized what he called the U.S.
If Syria carries out more chemical attacks, he said, "that is going to be clearly very damaging to US-Russian relations".
He then added that the United States "will take additional action, as necessary and appropriate, to further its important national interests".
"Therefore, we demand that all should retreat from this risky escalation we are monitoring", said the secretary-general of the 22-member Arab bloc based in Cairo.
He also said the top USA priority in the region hasn't changed and remained the defeat of Islamic State militants.
The Turkish foreign minister, whose country is a strong backer of the Syrian opposition, said the USA missile strikes were not enough.
It was the most horrific chemical weapons attack in the war-torn country since a similar attack in eastern Damascus in August 2013, World Health Organization said. Earlier, U.S. military officials had said they were looking into whether Russian Federation participated, possibly by using a drone to help eliminate evidence afterward. The drone returned late in the day as citizens were going to a nearby hospital for treatment.
United States officials say about 20 planes were destroyed in Friday's attack on the Shayrat base.
The officials, who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the sensitive matter, said they believe the hospital attack may have been an effort to cover up evidence of the earlier assault.
But as lawmakers called on Trump to consult with Congress, Trump administration officials sent mixed signals on the scope of future US involvement.
He said Russian Federation should also be asked how it didn't know that Syria was planning a chemical attack since it had advisers at the Syrian airfield.
The missile strikes hit the government-controlled Shayrat air base in central Syria, where US officials say the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off.
The impact of the strikes was also unclear.
Iran has provided crucial military and economic assistance to Assad throughout the six-year civil war.