US President Donald Trump is discussing with members of his administration the possibility of introducing sanctions against Russian Federation and Iran for supporting the Syrian government, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday.
After the attack, Tillerson said - for a Sunday broadcast of CBS News' "Face the Nation" - that defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the first priority, and Assad must be dealt with separately.
"If you look at his actions, if you look at the situation, it's going to be hard to see a government that's peaceful and stable with Assad", she said.
Haley on Friday told a special session of the UN Security Council that the USA was "prepared to do more" in Syria and that it was Washington's "vital national interest" to stop the use and spread of chemical weapons.
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The Indian-origin diplomat's remarks came days after the U.S. on April 6 unleashed 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase in a retaliating for the Assad-led government's alleged chemical weapons attack that killed almost 80 persons in Idlib province. But we hope that will not be necessary.
The Syrian foreign minister denied the government's involvement in the Idlib incident, saying it had never nor would it ever use chemical weapons on either civilians or terrorists operating in the country.
Haley reiterated her statements about further actions in Syria in her interview to the CNN.
Before Tuesday's attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which killed 89 people, Haley had said toppling Assad was not a priority.
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"If he needs to do more, he will do more", Haley said when asked if Trump would order more strikes. And then we've got to go and make sure that we actually see a leader that will protect his people. We're not going to have you cover for this regime anymore.
"I don't know what his thought process was in 2013", she said.
Haley's comments on Assad follow remarks by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said before last week's deadly chemical attack in Syria that getting Assad out of power isn't a top priority. "In no way do we see peace in that area with Assad as the head of the Syrian government".
Speaking on a United States talkshow to be aired Sunday, Rex Tillerson insisted he had no concerns about possible retaliation by Moscow as "Russians were never targeted" in the strike and said defeating the IS group was the top priority for the USA in Syria.
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Washington of "playing the terrorism game", during his first phone talks with his USA counterpart Rex Tillerson since the U.S. air strikes on Syria.