The US launched dozens of missiles against an airbase in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack earlier this week that the US blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he ordered the missile attack to hit the airbase that Syrian government forces used to launch the deadly chemical weapons attack.

Here is his full statement: 

My fellow Americans: On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.

Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many.

Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.

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Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched.

It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.

There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council.

Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behaviour have all failed, and failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilise, threatening the United States and its allies.

Tonight, I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.

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We ask for God's wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed.

And we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will, in the end, prevail.

Goodnight. And God bless America and the entire world. Thank you.

Source: News agencies