The Trump administration is stepping up its efforts to combat persecution across the globe, as US Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson has pledged to tackle 'crimes against the innocents.'

He said the United States will 'hold to account' all who implement atrocities against innocent people in different countries.

He spoke during a memorial in the Tuscan town of Sant'Anna di Stazzema to commemorate a 1944 massacre by Nazi Germany.

Mr. Tillerson is due to attend a G7 meeting of foreign ministers gathering in Lucca, Italy.

'Crossed a line'

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and foreign ministers from other key NATO countries such as France, Canada, Japan, Germany and Italy will discuss with Mr.

Tillerson how to dissolve the close relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

The Secretary of State was due to visit Moscow, but both Russia and Iran have criticised the United States for its airstrikes in Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack which claimed the lives of 30 people, including approximately 30 children.

Mr. Putin and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani both suggested the United States had 'crossed a red line.'

President Donald Trump has always been critical of his predecessor, former president Barack Obama, for his 'failure' to intervene in Syria since he was made the Republican candidate prior to last year's presidential election.

The former billionaire committed himself to an 'America First' principle, but his order to issue airstrikes against Syria mark a dramatic turn in his attitude to foreign policy.

More airstrikes MAY come

Mr. Johnson, who cancelled his own trip to Russia following Mr. Assad's chemical weapons attack, said the United States may launch more airstrikes in Syria.

He hinted this response is due to come because of the bombing of Shayrat airfield located near the city of Homs last Friday.

However, the Tory failed to clarify if the UK will collaborate with its key ally.

The Foreign Secretary called for 'international support for a political solution' to halt the Syrian war.

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said Britain was 'continuing its discussions' with their key partners to pressure Mr.

Assad's government, including the Russians.

Nonetheless, the Kremlin remains defiant that replacing Mr. Assad would not end the conflict.

Mr. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Mr. Tillerson would be meeting Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Russian President will not be meeting with the Secretary of State.

Mr. Tillerson intends to deliver a 'coordinated' message to the Russian government.

Who is Rex Tillerson?

According to The New York Times, Mr. Tillerson was made Secretary of State on 12th December 2016.

He was recommended by former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who met with Trump in November 2016.

She served former president George W. Bush.

Robert Gates also supported his speculated nomination three days after she met with the former billionaire.

The Secretary of State has close ties with the Russian President. They have been acquaintances since Mr. Tillerson represented American engineering company Exxon in Russia during the days of Boris Yeltsin's tenure as president in the 1990s.

John Hamre, the President and CEO for Strategic and International Studies, of which the Secretary of State is also a board member, said Mr. Tillerson has had 'more interaction with Mr. Putin' than any other American.

In 2014, he declared his opposition to sanctions against Russia in the wake of the Russian annexation of Crimea. Mr. Tillerson said this is because it requires an international coordinated response to implement sanctions among all countries, which he argued at the time is not easy to achieve.

He has instead recommended the United States position its troops in Eastern European countries which border Russia, saying this would present a more 'muscular' response to the crisis.

This year, Mr. Tillerson said Russia's invasion of Crimea was illegal.