Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used a Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week” to chastise Russia for not fulfilling the commitments it made under chemical weapons agreements that it entered into during the Obama administration, placing the blame on Russia for the recent chemical attacks in Syria.
“I’m disappointed because I think the real failure here has been Russia’s failure to live up to its commitments under the chemical weapons agreements that were entered into in 2013,” Tillerson told host George Stephanopoulos.
“Both by the Syrian government and by Russia as the guarantor to play the role in Syria of securing chemical weapons, destroying the chemical weapons and continuing to monitor that situation,” he continued.
He then shifted some of the blame for the chemical attack targeting northern Syria from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad onto Russia’s “failure … to achieve its commitment to the international community.”
In the aftermath of last week’s attacks, Tillerson portrayed al-Assad as the unequivocal mastermind: “There is no doubt in our minds and the information we have supports that Syria, the Syrian regime under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad are responsible for this attack, and I think further it is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their continued support for the Assad regime,” he said in a statement.
Now, Tillerson has warned Russia to temper its support for the Assad regime or be held responsible for any further atrocities committed as part of the Syrian conflict.