US President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike against an Assad regime airbase in Homs in Syria on Thursday night (6 April) in response to the horrific chemical attack against civilians in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Speaking at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where the president is currently taking part in a two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump said that it was in the "vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons".

Here are his full remarks:

My fellow Americans,

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 very 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 is in the 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 and failed very dramatically. 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.

Goodnight and God bless America and the entire world. Thank you.

Trump Syria
US President Donald Trump delivers a statement about missile strikes on a Syrian airbase at his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach Carlos Barria/Reuters