British FM Boris Johnson cancels Moscow visit over 'developments in Syria'

Tillerson is expected in Moscow for talks with Russian officials next week.

On Friday, the US fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at Shayrat Airbase from destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea in response to Tuesday's Assad regime chemical attack in Idlib that left some 100 men, women, and children dead and more than 500 injured.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L), Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and others wait for the start of a meeting at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany February 16, 2017.

"(Russian President) Vladimir Putin believes that complete disregard for factual information about the use by terrorists of chemical weapons drastically aggravates the situation", the statement said.

"I discussed these plans in detail with Secretary Tillerson".

US officials said Russian Federation bears responsibility for backing Assad and extending the six-year-old conflict, raising tension between the former Cold War rivals to the highest level since President Donald Trump took office in January.

In January, Mr Johnson said Assad should be allowed to run for election to remain in power in Syria and warned that Britain may have to "think afresh" about how to handle the crisis after failing to live up to its mantra that dictator must go. "We are asking Russian Federation to fulfill its commitment and we're asking and calling on Bashar al-Assad to cease the use of these weapons".

The two diplomats also agreed to continue discussing the situation in Syria next week during a face-to-face meeting as part of Tillerson's 2-day Moscow visit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the strike as "act of aggression" and said it violated worldwide law.

Johnson also denounced Russia's defense of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and said the United Kingdom had called on Russian Federation to work toward a political settlement in Syria.

America's top diplomat also says that the top US priority in the region hasn't changed and remains the defeat of Islamic State militants. He says that once the militant group is eliminated, the US can turn to stabilizing Syria. "Today's reality proves that our choice to strengthen our nuclear power and to stand against force with force was right a million times over", the report said.

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