Secretary of State Tillerson is on his way to Moscow for high level meetings with the Russian government, but before those conversations began he spoke directly to Russia in front of the whole world. He called out Russia for their incompetence, or their participation in what the Syrian government had done.
“Our missile strike in response to Assad’s repeated use of banned weapons was necessary as a part of U.S. national security interest. We do not want the regime’s uncontrolled stockpile of chemical weapons to fall into the hands of ISIS, or other terrorist groups who could, and want, to attack the U.S. and our allies. Nor can we accept the normalization of the use of chemical weapons. [The 2013] agreements stipulated Russia was the guarantor of a Syria free of chemical weapons, as they would also locate, secure and destroy all such armaments in Syria. Stockpiles and continued use demonstrate that Russia has failed in its responsibility to deliver on this 2013 commitment. It is unclear whether Russia failed to take this obligation seriously, or if they have been incompetent, but the distinction doesn’t much matter to the dead. We can’t let this happen again.”
Vladimir Putin, not being one to back down from a challenge responded almost immediately. The Russian premier, whose failures allowed the Syrians to use chemical weapons against their own people.
“This resembles very much the situation in 2003 and the war in Iraq. First of all, there was a campaign launched in Iraq, and it finished with the destruction of the country the growth of the terrorist threat and the emergence of ISIS on the international arena.”
This is not the best start to the coming conversations but at least everyone knows where they stand.