Rex Tillerson: Assad may face war crimes charge in future

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, could face possible war crimes charges in the future. But his Russia counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, says Moscow holds evidence Syrian rebels were responsible.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a press conference after a meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister in Moscow on April 12, 2017.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a press conference after a meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister in Moscow on April 12, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday (April 12) that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad could face war crimes charges in the future. 

Mr Tillerson made the comments at a press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow.

The comments came at what the top diplomats described as a low point in the countries' relationship. 

Mr Tillerson said any war crimes charges were far in the future, but said it was an avenue that was being actively pursued by the Trump administration. 

Russia has not accepted the United States' assertion that Assad's military was behind a suspected gas poisoning in Syria's Idlib province last week. 

Mr Lavrov, speaking through a translator, said Moscow has obtained evidence that Syrian rebels have obtained their own chemical weapons and called for an independent investigation into the incident that killed scores of civilians.