Early Friday morning local time, the United States launched a cruise missile attack on Syria.
The 59 Raytheon Tomahawk cruise missiles were sent in retaliation for the Syrian regime's chemical weapons attack on rebel-held territory in the northern part of the country on April 4. That attack, which used sarin, killed dozens and made hundreds sick.
The decision to attack Syria is a big change of position for President Trump. He had a very different attitude when Barack Obama was under pressure to attack the country for its last major use of chemical weapons several years ago.
Trump was initially skeptical of military action after the Syrian attack. However, on Thursday, he claimed that realizing children were killed changed his thinking.
"I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me—big impact," he said during a press conference. "My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much… You’re now talking about a whole different level."
The U.S. missile attack is aimed at an air base that is believed to have been used in the April 4 attack.
In Washington, there seemed to be bipartisan support for the U.S. attack. Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, issued a statement saying the strikes "send a clear signal that the United States will stand up for internationally accepted norms and rules against the use of chemical weapons." However, Cardin added, "any...larger military operation in Syria...will need to be done in consultation with Congress."
Republican Senator Tom Cotton praised the strikes as "swift, decisive action."
The president gave a short address following news of the strikes.
"Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria where the chemical attack was launched. It is in the vital security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons... Tonight I call on all civilized 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."