Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: 'No change' to US military position on Syria after strike

Mr. Tillerson spoke to ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

ByABC News
April 8, 2017, 4:57 PM

— -- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. position on Syria hasn't changed after American warships launched a military strike on an air base in Syria Thursday in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack that killed at least 70 civilians earlier in the week.

"We are asking Russia to fulfill its commitment and we're asking and calling on Bashar al-Assad to cease the use of these weapons. Other than that, there is no change to our military posture," Tillerson told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview that will air Sunday on "This Week."

In remarks from his Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Florida, President Donald Trump explained his decision to launch a military strike against a Syrian air base Thursday night, expressing disgust at the "very barbaric attack" by Syria.

"Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children," Trump said. "It was a slow and brutal death for so many -- even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack."

Tillerson echoed the president's comments, telling Stephanopoulos, "I think the president was very clear in his message to the American people, that this strike was related solely to the most recent, horrific use of chemical weapons against women, children, and as the president said, even small babies. So the strike was a message to Bashar al-Assad that your multiple violations of your agreements at the UN, your agreements under the chemical weapons charter back in 2013 that those would not go without a response in the future.”

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