United States missiles blast Syria; Trump demands 'end the slaughter'

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The U.S. strikes -59 missiles launched from the USS Ross and USS Porter - hit the government-controlled Shayrat air base in central Syria, where U.S. officials say the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off.

"This is not the first time the United States has resorted to such a thoughtless step, which merely exacerbates existing problems and threatens global security".

Russian Federation has dismissed Western accusations against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who Washington says was responsible for a chemical gas attack that left scores dead in the Syrian province of Idlib.

The U.S launched a targeted missile strike on Syria to "prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons", President Donald Trump said on Thursday night. The hospital was bombed shortly afterward, officials said, possibly in an effort to cover up evidence of chemical weapons usage. Trump said strike on Syria in the "vital national security interest" of the United States.

The U.S. says a sarin-like nerve agent was used.

The statement came into question on Tuesday when a chemical weapons attack in an opposition-held town in northern Syria killed more than 80 people, including at least 30 children. In 2013, when Obama considered seeking congressional approval, Trump said it would be a "big mistake" if he did not seek prior approval.

Syrian state TV reported "American aggression targets Syrian military targets with a number of missiles". The Russian spokesman said just 23 of the 59 US missiles reached the targeted airbase. But the president appeared moved by the photos of children killed in the chemical attack, calling it a "disgrace to humanity" that crossed "a lot of lines". The U.S. used that line to warn Russian Federation of the airstrike. "Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has been simply incompetent in its ability to deliver on its end of that agreement (to remove all chemical weapons from the regime's control)" the Secretary said. "Acting on the orders of their commander-in-chief, they have sent an important message the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin's Russian Federation, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs", they said in a joint statement.

He sanctioned the airstrike before dining with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday.

Then-President Barack Obama developed a "red line" that warned Assad against further heinous action, but the US did not directly inject itself into the military campaign. "Therefore, it's important that some action be taken on behalf of the global community to make clear that these chemical weapons continue to be a violation of worldwide norms", Mr. Tillerson said.

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