President Trump orders military strike against Syria, 50 missiles launched by US warships

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — 8:15 p.m. — President Trump spoke Thursday, calling his strike on Syria vital to "national security interest."

"Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the air field in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched," Trump said during short remarks to reporters at Mar-a-Lago. "It is in this vital national security of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons."

He added: "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 behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically."

According to a U.S. defense official close to the president, all strikes are over until further decisions are made.

6:45 p.m. — Fifty U.S. missiles were launched into Syria Thursday following deadly chemical attacks that killed at least 72 people, including women and children.

According to CNN, President Trump ordered the military strike, which marks the first steps the U.S. has taken against the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to the New York Times, the missiles were launched at 8:45 p.m. Eastern Time and were headed towards the Shayrat airfield and that the strike had hit planes, fuel, spare parts and the runway.

President Trump met with his national security team Thursday evening where he made the decision to launch the missiles.

According to an administration official close to the president, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump’s national security adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster were with Trump when he made the decision.

This action comes just a day after the president said the deadly chemical attacks on women and children crossed the lines and that it was his responsibility to respond.

Related Link: Trump Administration reacts to deadly chemical attack in Idlib, Syria

"I will tell you it’s already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much," Trump said.

"When you kill innocent children — innocent babies — babies — little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines. Beyond a red line, many, many lines," Trump said.

According to CNN, the U.S. launched missiles at Syria in September 2014 under President Obama, but only at ISIS forces and not Syrian leadership. 

This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available. 

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