The United States has attacked a Syrian air base with roughly 60 cruise missiles in response to a chemical weapons attack it blames on President Bashar Assad.
President Donald Trump says the U.S. missile attack on a Syrian air base Thursday night was in the nation's "vital national security interest."
Trump says the United States must "prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons." He says there is "no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons."
U.S. officials say the Tomahawk missiles were fired from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea, targeting a government-controlled air base in Syria.
U.S. officials say Syrian government aircraft killed dozens of civilians by using chlorine mixed with a nerve agent, possibly sarin, earlier this week.
"Assad choked out the helpless," the President said.
The bombing represents President Donald Trump's most dramatic military order since taking office. The Obama administration threatened attacking Assad's forces for previous chemical weapons attacks, but never followed through.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Bashar Assad should no longer have a role in governing the Syrian people after this week's chemical attack and the U.S. is evaluating an appropriate response.
Tillerson said Thursday there is "no doubt in our minds" that Assad's government was behind the attack that killed dozens of innocent people in rebel-held northern Idlib and is deemed one of the worst attacks in Syria's civil war.
Tillerson also issued a warning to Russia that it should "consider carefully" its support of Assad's government. He says the images of dead women and children "horrified all of us" and attacks of this nature cannot be tolerated.
Tillerson made his remarks in West Palm Beach, Florida, after welcoming China's President Xi Jinping for a two-day summit with President Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump is suggesting that Syrian President Bashar Assad may have to leave power after this week's chemical weapons attack.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump said Thursday that what happened in Syria is "a disgrace to humanity." Asked if Assad should go, Trump said, "He's there, and I guess he's running things so something should happen."
The president would not discuss what, if anything, the United States might do in response to the deadly chemical attack. He said the attack "shouldn't have happened, and it shouldn't be allowed to happen."
Trump said he may talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Syria. Russia is a key supporter of the Assad government.