U.S. launches dozens of missiles at Syria in response to chemical weapons attack

Video shows U.S. destroyers Porter and Ross as they launch Tomahawk missiles into Syria. The Pentagon said 59 missiles targeted a Syrian air base.

The Pentagon ordered dozens of cruise missiles launched against an airfield in central Syria late Thursday in retaliation for a gruesome poison gas attack this week that U.S. officials said was carried out by President Bashar Assad’s forces.

President Trump authorized the attack, the most significant military action of his 11-week presidency, after he was briefed by Defense Secretary James N. Mattis in Palm Beach, Fla., where the president is hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children,” Trump said in a televised statement from his Mar-a-Lago retreat. “Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”

“Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched,” he added. “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”