Tillerson was surprisingly visible during the response to the chemical attack.
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Tillerson steps up on Syria, Russia after avoiding spotlightCriticized for his low-profile diplomacy, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is emerging from the shadows with a leading public role in shaping and explaining the Trump administration's missile strikes in Syria. Tillerson was a prominent fixture during the most important foreign policy period in Trump's young presidency: a two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that coincided with the strikes against Syria. It was Tillerson who delivered the Trump administration's first blistering condemnation of Russia in the hours after the strikes. Russia maintains a close political and military alliance with President Bashar Assad's government and has been accused of supporting its attacks against Syrians opposed to Assad's rule – something Moscow adamantly denies.Only a week earlier, Tillerson had alarmed U.S. allies by indicating the U.S. was no longer interested in pushing for Syrian President Bashar Assad's removal from power.
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