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>> A bitter US-Russia clash over last week's deadly gas attack in Syria growing deeper Tuesday just as top US diplomat Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow for talks on the six year old civil war. The White House timing his visit with a release of a report claiming Russia covered up Syria’s use of a banned chemical agent in Tuesday's bombing that killed nearly 90 people in a rebel-held village.
The horrific images spurring an abrupt reversal by the Trump administration from tolerating Assad to openly opposing his continued hold on power. The report by President Trump's National Security Council backing up a new diplomatic push by the US and its top allies calling on Russia to abandon Assad. Who has relied on Moscow as his patron as the conflict killed hundreds of thousands and created millions of refugees.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer saying Russia risks isolation if it clings to Assad.>> Russia is on a island when it comes to its support of Syria or its lack of, frankly, acknowledgment of what happened.>> Russia refusing to lay the blame on Assad, saying the gas leaked from a rebel cache of weapons.
Tillerson meeting with foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, but not Russian President Vladimir Putin, reportedly still angry over the US missile response to the chemical attack.>> That if they use chemical weapons, they are going to pay a very, very stiff price.>> In Washington, Defense Secretary James Mattis saying the US response to the gas attack did not represent a change in US strategy, which he said remains focused on defeating Islamic State.