The suspected chemical attack in Syria that prompted the US missile strike against a Syrian air base, is forcing difficult diplomacy to get that much harder. Just a day after an emergency session of the UN Security Council pitted Russia against the US, France, and Britain, Britain's foreign minister announcing he's cancelled a visit to Moscow that was due to take place on Monday.
Boris Johnson stating that developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally. But the events may have also sown division between the US and another ally, Iraq. Baghdad hasn't accepted the White House's assertion that the Syrian government was behind the gas poisoning that killed scores of civilians, calling instead for an international investigation to find the perpetrator.
And in a written statement, its government criticized what it called the hasty interventions that followed, an apparently reference to the strike authorized by US President, Donald Trump. The chilly response may be due to the influence of Iran. Like Russia, Iran is on the opposite side of the Syrian conflict from the United States.
Yet it also holds a Shiite Muslim majority, like Iraq, and has leveraged those populations to its advantage, funding Iraqi Shiite militia fighting in support of the Syrian government. Baghdad says that the US Vice President, Mike Pence, called Iraq's Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi on Saturday, to reassure him of their mutual battle against Islamic State.
Iraq's criticism of the missile strike comes just days after Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, visited Abadi on a trip to the country.