And despite bluster about global law at the United Nations (an obscene observation, given the Kremlin's craven embrace of Assad, who should be prosecuted for war crimes), it appears that the two nuclear-armed superpowers will avoid any direct military confrontation.
In his televised address from the White House on Friday, Trump said the U.S. was prepared to keep up the economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Assad until he ends a pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.
"If this step does not succeed, we will be prepared to act again", an official said on the call, echoing what other top administration officials emphasized on Saturday.
Mekdad declined to comment to reporters waiting outside the hotel where the meeting took place.
"It is the Assad regime and its backers that benefit the most from this geopolitical brinkmanship, and the Syrian people continue to suffer".
Toronto resident Bayan Khatib was at a community fundraiser with other Syrian Canadians on Friday night when she learned the USA, the United Kingdom and France had launched the joint airstrikes in retaliation for a suspected chemical-weapons attack on April 7 that killed 43 people and injured hundreds more in a rebel-held enclave near Damascus.
Asked about US-Russia relations, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said ties were "very strained" but that the United States still hoped for a better relationship.
USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on Sunday that the U.S. will imminently impose a new rounds of sanctions on Russian Federation.
She said the three USA goals for accomplishing its mission were making sure chemical weapons were not used in a way that could harm U.S. national interests, that the Islamic State group was defeated, and that there was a good vantage point to watch what Iran was doing. Within a few minutes, both British Prime Minister Teresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron released statements emphasizing the same message.
Trump defends 'mission accomplished' statement after strike on Syria
The airstrikes, which hit several sites, were a direct response to Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma on April 7. His choice of words recalled a similar claim associated with President George W Bush following the US-led invasion of Iraq.
The joint operation came one week after a suspected chemical attack on an opposition-controlled town outside Damascus left more than 40 people dead.
In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, Mr Putin and Mr Rouhani agreed the Western strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution in the seven-year Syria conflict, according to a Kremlin statement. "Those responsible must be brought to justice", he said.
Syria released video of the wreckage of a bombed-out research lab, but also of Assad arriving at work as usual, with the caption "morning of resilience" and there were no immediate reports of casualties.
They quoted the legislators as saying Assad was in a "good mood" and accepted an invitation to visit the Siberian region of Khanty-Mansi.
Negotiations on the draft resolution put forward by the US, France and Britain are set to begin on Monday.
That attack involved 59 Tomahawk missiles fired from two USA warships in the Mediterranean Sea.
- US President Donald Trump condemned Syria's two main allies, Russian Federation and Iran, for supporting "murderous dictators". A senior administration official told reporters Saturday that while there was more publicly available evidence pointing to the use of chlorine, the US has "significant information that also points to sarin use".
The Trump administration offered veiled threats on Saturday about future military action and mixed remarks about the degree to which it believed sarin was used by Syria's government, which denies it used chemical weapons.