But he warned Moscow to stop backing the “vicious and cruel” Syrian President, adding: “He is literally and metaphorically toxic and it is time Russia awoke to that fact.”
Boris Johnson has called on Russia to join the West in removing Bashar al-Assad
His most outspoken statement to date came after France yesterday backed his call for senior Syrian figures and potentially Russian military commanders to face sanctions if they are implicated in the atrocity at Khan Shaykoun in Syria’s Idlib province.
It came as the Royal Navy dispatched HMS Sutherland to escort two Russian warships through the English Channel.
He said he was fully behind Donald Trump's airstrikes against Syria
Countries that support and oppose the missile strikes in Syria
Mon, April 10, 2017
European countries have been broadly supportive so far as President Trump ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airfield from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched
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SYRIA OPPOSES: President Bashar al-Assad's office denounced the U.S. strike as 'reckless, irresponsible behavior.'
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Mr Johnson faced criticism earlier in the week for failing to persuade Britain and America’s fellow G7 countries – Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy – to impose sanctions on Russia after he pulled out of a trip to Moscow.
He is literally and metaphorically toxic and it is time Russia awoke to that fact
Mr Johnson said yesterday that “unrelentingly savage” Assad had gassed children to death because he thought the world would let him “get away with it” after “crossing the red lines of the West with impunity”.
Mr Johnson added: “He no longer believes in the willingness of the world to stand up to him.”
But he warned: “Assad has miscalculated. He certainly misunderstood Donald Trump. He has also underestimated the global repulsion that his actions have caused.”
The airstrikes were launched in the wake of last week's chemical attack
Mr Johnson said he was confident an investigation into exactly what happened would establish Assad’s culpability.
Calling for the tyrant to be brought before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, he said: “We should focus relentlessly on the reality of what Assad has done – killed innocents with a banned and abominable weapon.”
Mr Johnson said all the evidence already pointed to Assad being responsible for the deaths of 87 people, including 30 children.
He also refused to rule out the notion of the US launching further airstrikes.
The Foreign Secretary warned Moscow to stop backing the 'vicious and cruel' Syrian President
He said Assad had become “insouciant” after the West failed to act over the 2013 chemical weapons attack on the Syrian town of Ghouta, which killed more than 1,000 people.
He said that by joining in a coalition of more than 60 countries in the fight against Islamic State, Russia could maintain its strategic interests in Syria, have better relations with America and help to rebuild the war-torn country.
Mr Johnson added: “The Russians saved him. The Russians can help remove him. He has caused such an unquenchable thirst for revenge that he can never hope to govern his population again.”