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Trump aides differ over Assad's future after Syria attack

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said just days before the attack that it would be up to the "Syrian people" to determine the "longer-term status" of President Bashar Assad, which may have signaled that Assad had nothing to fear from the U.S. But he suggested that Trump was seeking a global political response for regime change from US allies as well as Russian Federation, which he said needed to reevaluate its support of Syria. U.S. Treasury officials say they are preparing sanctions in response to the chemical weapons attack, though the Syrian government is already buried under U.S. and European Union sanctions.

The U.S. envoy said "regime change is something that we think is going to happen" in Syria, but she stopped short of suggesting Washington would directly seek that outcome.

On Thursday night, the USA military shot 59 Tomahawk missiles at the airfield in western Syria where the regime of Bashar Assad had itself launched a chemical attack that killed at least 87 people.

Once ISIS is defeated, the United States could turn its attention to trying to help bring about a "political process" that could bring about stability in Syria, he said.

Rouhani said the USA strike would not affect Iran's Syria policy, while Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran would not withdraw in the face of similar aggressions.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said defeating Islamic State was a higher priority than persuading Assad to step down.

More news: Venezuela protesters target Maduro, vow to keep up pressure

Her stances on Syria contradict Trump's refugee policies.

He said he would call on Russian Federation "to fulfill the obligation it made to the global community when it agreed to be the guarantor of the elimination of the chemical weapons, and why Russian Federation has not been able to achieve that is unclear to me". On Sunday, a joint command center comprised of Russian, Iranian and militia forces supporting Assad said it would respond to any new aggression and increase its support for its ally.

Trump ordered the missile strikes on the Syrian air base after blaming Assad for the chemical weapons attack, which killed at least 70 people, many of them children, in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.

"We are prepared to do more", he said. "Russian intelligence may not be as good as ours, but it's good enough to know the Syrians had chemical weapons, were using chemical weapons". "[What] we are saying is, other countries have to ask themselves some hard questions", he said.

In the southern city of Daraa, jets believed to be Russian escalated strikes on Free Syrian Army (FSA) and jihadist groups on Saturday and Sunday in an attempt to roll back their gains in the Manshiya district where battles have been raging for almost two months.

"We've seen what that looks like, when you undertake a violent regime change in Libya, and the situation in Libya continues to be very chaotic", he said.

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