President Donald Trump said late Thursday the U.S. missile attack on a Syrian air base was in the nation's "vital national security interest."
Trump said the United States must "prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons" and called on "all civilized nations" to join the U.S. in seeking an end to the carnage in Syria.
"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," Trump said. "Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched."
Trump added that there is "no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons."
"Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically," he said. "As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies."
The president spoke to reporters after the United States attacked a Syrian air base with roughly 60 cruise missiles in response to a chemical weapons attack it blames on President Bashar Assad..
It is believed that the base was used as a staging point for Tuesday's chemical weapons attack on rebel-held territory, which killed as many as 72 civilians, including women and children.
US defense officials tell Fox that two warships based in the eastern Mediterranean, the USS Porter and the USS Ross, have been training for the past two days to execute this mission.
Trump said "peace and harmony will prevail" so long as the U.S. continues to stand for justice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.