The six-year-old conflict is still raging and the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be urging Russia to drop their support for embattled Syrian Pres. Assad.
Tillerson recently got finished his visit with international partners at the most recent G7 meeting. The summit gathers the seven strongest global economies to discuss pressing
global issues such as terrorism, climate change and global economic threats.
Russia has been one of the key allies of Pres. Assad since the conflict began during the Arab Spring. Since the conflict began, there has been many allegations of war crimes and prohibited weapons being used in the conflict.
Most recently, there was a chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in north-western Syria. Currently, there is no undeniable evidence that answers who used what has been identified as sarin by Turkey.
Due to this attack, the US will be pressuring Russia to drop their historical support for Syria. It is important to note that Russia operates a naval base in Syria which is one of two warm-water ports that the Russian government sees as a priority.
Prior to Tillerson’s meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Russia has doubled-down their support of Assad. They have also denied western claims that Assad was the one that used chemical weapons. They have instead cited a nearby weapons depot that was bombed by Syrian jets to be the culprit of the sarin gas release.
The attack killed 89 people and provoked a barrage of tomahawk missiles from the US.