Russian Federation failed in its responsibility in Syria: Tillerson

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

The Kremlin later moved to diminish the attack, saying that just 23 of 59 cruise missiles reached the air base, destroying six Syrian jets but leaving the runway intact.

More than 80 civilians, including many children, died in the suspected nerve gas attack on Tuesday (late Wednesday NZT) in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.

"Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action", said Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham in a joint statement.

Only last week the United States ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said Washington was no longer prioritising the removal of the Syrian president.

A Syrian official said that the U.S. missile attack that hit military targets in central Syria has killed three soldiers and two civilians.

The memorandum of understanding on air safety over Syria between the armed forces of Russian Federation and the United States has been effective since October 2015.

On ABC radio on Friday morning, Payne too condemned the attack, and while she stopped short of committing to any action, the Defence Minister said Australia would be "part of the conversation" on any global military response to the chemical attack. The President needs congressional authorisation for military action and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate on our role.

He described the strike on Syria as being in the "vital national security interests of the U.S. to prevent and deter the spread and use of chemical weapons". The president went on to urge "all civilised nations" to rally against the Syrian leader.

Saudi Arabia also said it "fully supports" the attack, calling it a "courageous decision", by Trump, the Telegraph reported. Syria's government calls all armed groups "terrorists". "Syrian leadership and Syrian policy will not change", Talal Barazi told state television in a phone interview. However, a media official for the Syrian National Coalition has expressed hope that the U.S. strikes will continue in order to stop Syrian government air strikes and the "use of internationally banned weapons".

Some Democrats and at least two Republicans are questioning the strike's constitutionality. "But Syria is no longer Syria", he said. Barazi claims the targeted air base supports Syrian Army operations against ISIL.

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

His explosive comments have sparked speculation a US-led ground invasion of Syria could be imminent.

The Russian foreign ministry announced the suspension of a memorandum signed with the U.S. in October 2015 which set up a hotline to avoid clashes between their air forces in Syrian airspace as they carried out separate bombing campaigns.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the strike lasted "a couple of minutes".

Facing his biggest foreign policy crisis since taking office in January, Trump took the toughest direct USA action yet in Syria's six-year-old civil war, raising the risk of confrontation with Russian Federation and Iran, Assad's two main military backers.

Air strikes by the United States on a Syrian air base show Washington is guilty of political double standards, the RIA news agency cited Yury Shvitkin, deputy head of the Russian lower house of parliament´s defence committee, as saying on Friday.

"This [the attack] could be viewed as an act of aggression of the U.S. against a UN nation", Viktor Ozerov told the Russian RIA news, according to the Guardian.

  • Leroy Wright