President Bashar al-Assad 'choked the end the stays of helpless men, women and also children,' chairman Donald Trump claimed in remarks from Florida.

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The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter fires a Tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, ~ above April 7, 2017.Ford Williams / U.S. Marine via Getty Images
The United says fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles in ~ Syria overnight in response to what that believes to be a chemistry weapons strike that killed much more than 100 people.

At least six world were killed, Syria claimed, but the Pentagon said civilians were no targeted and the strike was aimed in ~ a military airfield in Homs.


All yet one the the missiles hit their intended target, one U.S. Military official said NBC News. The various other missile failed.

The strike perfect a policy reversal for President Donald trumped — who once warned America to remain out that the conflict — and also drew angry responses native Damascus and also its key ally, Russia.



The missiles were introduced from the USS Ross and also the USS Porter in the Mediterranean Sea towards Shayrat Airfield. American officials think it was used by the federal government of Syrian chairman Bashar Assad to carry out a strike on Tuesday involving chemical weapons that brought about the deaths of much more than 100 people.

"Assad choked the end the lives of helpless men, women and children," Trump said in remarks indigenous Mar-a-Lago, his household compound in Palm Beach, Florida. "It is in this vital national defense interest of the United states to prevent and also deter the spread and also use that deadly chemical weapons."


The president also called ~ above other countries to finish the bloodshed in Syria.

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U.S. Officials told NBC News the aircraft and also infrastructure at the site were hit, including the runway and gas fuel pumps. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman for the Defense Department, stated initial assessments showed that the airfield was severely damaged, reduce Syria"s ability to provide chemical weapons.

The to win provoked an angry an answer from Russia, i beg your pardon is backing the Assad routine in the six-year polite war versus a patchwork the rebel factions and other groups, including ISIS.


Both regime and also rebel pressures have committed recurring war crimes, follow to a United countries report last month, with airstrikes through Russian and Syrian jet in details "claiming numerous lives and also reducing hospitals, schools and also markets to rubble."

A Russian Defense set spokesman disputed the performance of the strike, telling state media that only 23 the the 59 missiles had hit your target.


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Syria"s army said the U.S. Strike violated "all global laws and also customs" and that the made America a "partner" the ISIS "and other terrorist organizations." It additionally condemned the White residence for exhilaration "without discovering the truth around what occurred and without identify those responsible" because that the chemical attack.

While the Syrian government condemned the U.S. Strike, armed rebel team Ahrar Al Sham told NBC News it welcomed "any U.S. Treatment through operation strikes that would deter the Assad regimen capabilities to kill civilians and also shorten the experiencing of our people."


The Syrian Observatory for human Rights, a U.K.-based surveillance group, stated that khan Sheikhoun, the town whereby the chemical attack took place, to be bombed again Friday by one unidentified warplane.

Related: Trump: Why I released a Missile assault on Syria


A White house official said an ext than 2 dozen members that Congress were briefed by management officials on the missile strike. Vice president Mike Pence went back to the White home after having gone house for dinner Thursday evening and also monitored the events from the situation Room, officials said.

Trump was in Florida because that a meeting with Chinese chairman Xi Jinpeng. Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary that State Rex Tillerson and also national defense adviser H.R. McMaster traveled to Florida v him.


"We feel the the to win itself to be proportional, since it was targeted at the basic that delivered this many recent chemical tools attack," Tillerson called reporters.

"There was a thorough examination of a wide selection of options, and also I think the chairman made the correct an option and do the correct decision," Tillerson said.

Related: Rebel Forces, part in Congress worship Strike on Syrian Airfield

Tillerson and Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., have bluntly blamed Syria for the chemical weapons attack, who victims included at least 25 children.


"We have actually a very high level of confidence the the strikes were carried out by plane under the direction of Bashar al-Assad"s regime, and also we also have an extremely high confidence that the attacks affiliated the use of sarin nerve gas," Tillerson said.


A map mirrors the place of Shayrat Airfield in Syria, the website of U.S. Missile strikes overnight Thursday.Google Maps

He stated there were no executive-level communications with Russian president Vladimir Putin before the missile strike but confirmed U.S. Officials had actually "multiple conversations" v the Russian government in accordance with army "deconfliction" agreements.

Photos: Rescuers law Dozens in Syria chemical Attack

The unilateral activity came after Haley told the U.N. Security Council top top Wednesday: "When the United nations consistently stops working in that is duty come act collectively, there room times in the life of says that we are compelled to take our own action."


Only a mainly earlier, she had told the U.N. The removing Assad from strength was no longer America"s priority.

Sen. Marco Rubio welcomed the strike and also said regime readjust should now be a focus. He claimed Trump have to now occupational with other nations "to create options to the Assad regime," the told NBC"s TODAY.

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Courtney Kube
Courtney Kube is a correspondent covering nationwide security and also the armed forces for the NBC News Investigative Unit.