THE United States has launched a military strike on Syria following the horrific chemical attack that shocked the world earlier this week.

This afternoon Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed the Australian Government was told of the missile action shortly before the launch. 

Donald Trump ordered around 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles to be launched on al-Shayrat military airfield near Homs, the airfield from which the gas attack that killed more than 70 civilians is thought to have originated.

In a speech delivered in Florida, President Trump called on all "civilised nations to join us" to help the US end the violence in Syria.

"On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent.

Assad choked out the lives of innocent men, women and children.

It was a slow and brutal death for so many.

Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this barbaric attack.

No child of god should ever suffer such horror.

Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched.

It's in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.

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 behaviour have all failed.

As a result the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilise, threatening the United States and its allies.

Tonight I call on all civilised 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.

We ask for god's wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world.

We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed.

And we hope that as long as America stands for justice that peace and harmony will in the end prevail."

US officials said the missiles were fired from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea, targeting the airbase under the control of President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Earlier today Mr Turnbull told 3AW host Neil Mitchell he had been "in close touch with our American allies".

"I can't go into any more detail than that other than to say that I've spoken only a little while ago with the Defence Minister and the Chief of the Defence Force. 

"We are in close touch with our American allies in that theatre. "

 


The strikes - launched at 8.45pm Thursday Eastern Time (10.45am Friday AEST) - represent the first direct military action the US has taken against the Syrian leadership in the country's six-year civil conflict.
 


Barack Obama had threatened Assad's forces over previous chemical attacks but the only US airstrikes in the region under his administration targeted terrorists rather than the regime.  

The latest move could be seen by the Middle Eastern nation as an act of war.

The President is due to address the nation shortly from his Mar-a-Lago estate.
 


It comes after Hillary Clinton called on the US to take out Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's Air Force on Thursday, days after images from the chemical attack in the wartorn country made headlines across the globe.  

The Obama administration threatened attacking Assad's forces for previous chemical weapons attacks

More to come

News Corp Australia

Two week dance competition brings thousands to Gatton

Two week dance competition brings thousands to Gatton

Tickets are available for purchase at the door.

Drought relief could fund road upgrade

Drought relief could fund road upgrade

Somerset Mayor calls for road upgrade.

Free formal dresses still available to grade 12 students

Free formal dresses still available to grade 12 students

Hundreds of dresses and suits are available for free.

Local Partners