Syria

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, Russia threatened to shoot down any coalition jets flying west of the Euphrates river, after the U.S. shot down a Syrian warplane over the weekend. Russia is also suspending its use of the hotline between the U.S. and Russia that was set up to prevent accidents in the Syrian combat zone. The U.S. has also suspended talks with Russia over resolution of the Syrian conflict.

 

From Texas Standard:

Officials with the State Department say the Syrian government has constructed, and is using a crematorium at a military prison. Just a few hours later, the Washington Post broke the news that President Donald Trump revealed classified information when he met with Russian officials last week in the Oval Office.

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced sanctions on 271 individuals it says are scientists working on weapons development for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The new sanctions are a response to the deadly April 4 chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, an attack the U.S. government accuses Assad of carrying out against civilians.

White House officials say the U.S. intelligence community is confident that Syrian President Bashar Assad attacked his own people with chemical weapons on April 4 — and that an alternative explanation offered by Russia is an effort to deflect blame and "confuse the world community."

Senior administration officials "suggested that the attack may have been motivated by rebel gains in the surrounding area, as rebel forces approached a strategic Syrian air base," NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

Fresh tensions as Secretary of State Tillerson readies to visit Moscow –from the Syria strikes to the investigations into Trump’s Russia ties. Where is this relationship headed?

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