- Reuters: Syrian jets have taken off from the bombed air field again
- Spicer: Strikes ordered to insist on a "mutual level of human decency"
- Xi told Trump he understood the strike, because of the deaths of children
- Emergency meeting of UN Security Council called
- Nikki Haley says US "prepared to do more"
- Russia accuses Britain of "colonial hypocrisy" in supporting strikes
- An hour after Trump finished dinner: How strikes unfolded
- Analysis: Trump shows the world there's a new sheriff in town
The United States has warned Russia that it was prepared to take further steps in Syria after a day of mounting tension between Moscow and Washington.
"The United States took a very measured step last night," Nikki Haley, the US ambassador, told the UN Security Council. "We are prepared to do more, but we hope it will not be necessary."
The US military fired 59 Tomahawk missiles from the USS Porter and USS Ross warships in the Mediterranean Sea at the al-Shayran air base near the western city of Homs early on Friday morning, which the Pentagon said was used to store chemical weapons.
Donald Trump, the US president, announced the attack from his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, where he was meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping, after at least 86 people including 33 children were killed in a nerve-gas attack in rebel-held Idlib province earlier this week.
"Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack," he said, adding: "No child of God should ever suffer such horror."
Mr Xi told Mr Trump he understood the US reaction given the deaths of children, according to Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state.
The US strikes provoked fury in Moscow, which diverted a warship to the Mediterranean to protect the Syrian coast and vowed to bolster Bashar al-Assad's defences against further US missile strikes.
The Admiral Grigorevich, a cruise missile-carrying frigate, passed through the Bosporus en-route to Russia's Syrian navy base at Tartus.
The Grigorevich, which carries Moscow's state-of-the-art Kalibr cruise missiles, was taking part in joint exercises in the Black Sea with the Turkish navy when it was ordered to turn around.
"To protect key Syrian infrastructure a range of measures will be taken reinforce and improve the effectiveness of the Syrian armed forces air defence," the Russian ministry of defence said in a statement on Friday morning.
The Kremlin also said it was immediately suspending its air safety agreement with the US in response to missile strikes on a Syrian air base.
The memorandum, signed in October 2015, is designed to avoid clashes in the crowded airspace over Syria, with each side giving the other warning over planned strikes.
Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, said the attacks had fatally undermined Moscow’s initial trust in the new US administration and brought the countries to the “the verge of a military clash.”
Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, said Mr Trump’s decision to directly target the Syrian regime inflicted further "considerable damage" to ties between Moscow and Washington.
"This step by Washington inflicts considerable damage to US-Russia relations, which are already in a lamentable state,” he said.
Mr Peskov said Mr Putin, a staunch ally of the Syrian leader, regarded the US action as "aggression against a sovereign nation" on a "made-up pretext" and a cynical attempt to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq.
Other world leaders praised the US strikes and urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold urgent talks with Mr Trump to prevent the Syria crisis escalating into a wider world conflict.
"The UK Government fully supports the US action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime, and is intended to deter further attacks," Theresa May’s office said in a statement.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Francois Hollande, the French president, said in a joint statement that “President Assad alone” must bear responsibility for the strike.
"His repeated use of chemical weapons and his crimes against his own people demand sanctions which France and Germany already asked for in the summer of 2013,” they said.
Syrian military officials on Friday called the US airstrike an act of "blatant aggression", saying it had made America "a partner" of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil)as the base was used to conduct strikes against the jihadist group.
Six Syrian soldiers were reported to have been killed in Friday’s missile strike, which destroyed as much as 90 per cent of the base. Syrian officials said nine civilians, including four children, were also killed.
No Russian soldiers or equipment were reported to have been damaged in the attack. The Pentagon said it informed Russia of its plans to strike hours ahead, giving them time to remove any aircraft they had stationed at the base.
Syrian military sources said that they also received intelligence about the strike in advance and moved equipment out of the base, in a sign the missile strikes were intended as a show of force rather than a serious attempt to damage the Syrian regime's airstrike capabilities.
"We call for there to be joint (international) strikes ... in all the airports" he said. “That’s the only way to protect the people.”
The White House worked on Friday to row back on any suggestion of wider US involvement to overthrow the Assad regime.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said they would continue to focus on the mission to defeat Isil in Syria, and would even work - indirectly - alongside Damascus to achieve the aim.
He described the strike as a punishment to remind the Assad regime that there has to be a "mutual level of human decency" in its behaviour.
But he added that this action was separate to their wider national security goals.
Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State, said the strike did not mean their wider policy on Syria had changed. Mr Tillerson is expected to visit Moscow next week.
The Russian foreign ministry said on Friday it expected the visit to go ahead, and it would demand that Mr Tillerson explain his position.
Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, is due to fly to Moscow on Sunday but is expected to take a decision over the weekend on whether the trip should go ahead.
Stay with us for the latest updates.
Syrians in Michigan praise Trump
Syrian-Americans on Friday hailed the US missile attack on a Syrian air base as a blow for human rights, but said they were wary of both President Donald Trump's motives and what comes next.
Many who had been angered by Mr Trump's efforts to ban Syrians, along with visitors from several other Muslim-majority nations, welcomed what they saw as his new role as the avenger of civilians killed in this week's chemical weapons attack.
"We needed to take some action, show some backbone," said Judy Asghar, 35, an American born to Syrian immigrants who lives in Dearborn, Michigan, epicenter of one of the largest Arab-American communities in the United States.
Some called Thursday night's military action overdue, voicing disappointment with then-President Barack Obama's refusal to attack the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following a 2013 chemical weapons attack.
"I was very glad that it finally happened, something that should have happened years ago," Ali Homsi, 59, a civil engineer who moved to the United States from Syria as a student in 1978, said in a telephone interview. Mr Homsi lives in Tempe, Arizona, but still has family in Syria.
Many highlighted the human rights abuses that have characterized the six-year civil war and what they see as the impunity of Assad's government and pro-Assad forces.
"No one's been enforcing that up until yesterday," Shireen Jasser, a Houston social worker whose father immigrated to the United States from Syria, said by phone.
"We're just thankful to President Trump for making this swift decision," said Jasser, president of her city's chapter of the Syrian American Council. The Washington-based group advocates "a free, democratic, and pluralistic Syria through American support."
Some Syrian-Americans and Syrians in the United States said Mr Trump's response to the chemical attack transformed him in their eyes.
"A lot of Syrian-Americans are now cheering the president, are elated," said Dr. Mohammad Kabbesh, 45, a physician who grew up in Damascus but now lives in Sacramento, California, said by phone.
Syrian refugee Motaz al Afandi, 49, of Texas said that if Mr Trump pursues aggressive action toward Assad, he could end up solving the refugee problem.
"If we get rid of Al-Assad, we won't need to be refugees anymore," said al Afandi, who runs a tow truck business in the Dallas area and sought asylum in the United States with his wife and three children after fleeing his country's conflict.
Still, some who cheered the military action said the travel ban first launched in January had left them with mixed feelings about Trump, and they reserved judgment as they awaited his next steps.
"We're partway there," said Youmun Alhlou, 23, of San Jose, California, who works as a legal specialist at Google and whose parents immigrated to the United States from Syria.
Others questioned whether the White House was using the humanitarian crisis as an excuse for more overseas wars.
"It's part of the plan to invade more countries for various reasons, whether its oil or power," said Amir Alshakarna, 31, of Southfield, Michigan, who became an American citizen last year and works for his family's construction company.
"The Trump who did the travel ban, that's the real Trump."
Asghar of Dearborn said Trump could be using military might to distract from the stumbles seen during his first months in office. Those include the failure to persuade Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, legal challenges to Trump's travel ban and continuing investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the election, which Russia has denied, and into potential Trump associates' ties to Russia.
"If this is all we do, it will mean very little except good politics for Trump," Asghar said.
"Americans seem to love presidents who bomb people."
How are Syrian aircraft able to fly again from the airbase?
Full text of Nikki Haley's speech to UN
On Tuesday, the Assad regime launched yet another chemical attack on civilians, murdering innocent men, women, and children in the most gruesome way.
Assad did this because he thought he could get away with it. He thought he could get away with it because he knew Russia would have his back. That changed last night.
Russia is supposed to be a guarantor of the removal of chemical weapons from Syria. Think about that.
Russia is supposed to have removed all the chemical weapons from Syria, but obviously that has not happened, as innocent Syrians continue to be murdered in chemical attacks.
Let’s think about the possible reasons for Russia’s failure.
It could be that Russia is knowingly allowing chemical weapons to remain in Syria.
It could be that Russia has been incompetent in its efforts to remove the chemical weapons.
Or, it could be that the Assad regime is playing the Russians for fools, telling them that there are no chemical weapons, all the while stockpiling them on their bases.
The world is waiting for the Russian government to act responsibly in Syria. The world is waiting for Russia to reconsider its misplaced alliance with Bashar Assad.
The United States will no longer wait for Assad to use chemical weapons without any consequences. Those days are over.
The United States took a very measured step last night.
We are prepared to do more, but we hope that will not be necessary. ”
Latin American nations urge restraint
Seven Latin American nations have jointly expressed their concern about the escalation of violence in Syria and "strongly condemned the inhumane use of chemical weapons in that nation against civilians, particularly children."
In a statement issued my Mexico's foreign ministry, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay urged all parties involved, including countries with influence in the region, to exercise the "greatest prudence" in Syria.
The statement called on the relevant parties to avoid an escalation of tensions in Syria and to find a political solution to the conflict under the auspices of the United Nations.
The statement made no reference to the US missile strikes on Syrian targets on Thursday, but said steps to prevent the deployment of chemical weapons should be backed by "the entire international community" in accordance with international law.
What are the implications of Trump's strike?
Syria launches air strikes from airfield hit by US
Reuters - SYRIAN WARPLANES TAKE OFF FROM AIR BASE WHICH U.S. MISSILES HIT, CARRY OUT STRIKES IN HOMS COUNTRYSIDE - SYRIAN OBSERVATORY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
The curious photograph published by Sean Spicer of Donald Trump's "situation room"
Donald Trump's press secretary released a photograph on Friday showing the president receiving a briefing on the the missile strikes in Syria, in a makeshift "situation room" at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
As the strikes were ordered Mr Trump was hosting Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, at his 126-room pink palace.
After hosting a lavish dinner, the president had stepped into a small, private side room, that was quickly decked out with secure communications equipment. A note urging for "quiet" was tacked with sellotape on the door. He and his staff sat on gold painted wedding chairs.
The image of the president, surrounded by more than a dozen aides, staring at a screen at the end of the table, was no doubt intended to draw a parallel with the iconic photograph released of Barack Obama watching the 2011 raid against Osama bin Laden.
But the Trump administration's version is decidedly more ad hoc. The Obama photograph, showed the former president with his vice president, secretary of state and national security aides.
Mr Trump's gathering included Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, and General H R McMaster, his national security adviser. Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, and Stephen Miller, his senior adviser and Sean Spicer, his press secretary were also in the room.
There were a surprising number of aides, who have little to do with defence. Stephen Mnuchin, the treasury secretary and Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary were among those pictured.
Did Russia try to cover up the chemical attack?
A US military official has told CNN that the Pentagon is examining specifically whether a Russian warplane had bombed a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun five hours after the initial chemical attack, with the aim of destroying evidence.
Russia said the deaths in Khan Sheikhoun were caused by a Syrian regime airstrike on a rebel-controlled chemcial weapons factory on the ground. But experts and eye-witness reporting has dismissed the claim.
Chemical attacks an act of cruelty and terror - but it's other weaponry that is causing the Syria death toll to mount
Ruth Sherlockreported on the war in Syria between 2012 and 2015. She writes:
For Syrian opposition activists, the first news reports were met with joy, exhilaration, and disbelief that after years of calling on the United States to act against Damascus, the Tomahawk missiles were finally on their way.
Kassem Eid, an activist (who goes by the name of Qusai Zakarya), who was injured in the chemical weapons attack in Moadamiya that killed hundreds of people, told me: "I am going to name my son Donald, if I have one. This man is a hero. He has balls."
But the initial excitement is being tempered by a realisation that, ultimately, this strike will do little to change the facts on the ground.
On Friday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, confirmed the attack was a punitive measure to ensure that the "Assad regime at a minimum aside by international standards not to use chemical weapons"
The chemical attack was devastating in its cruelty and terror. But in the Syrian war, it's other forms of weaponry that are causing the death toll to mount.
Indiscriminate airstrikes and crudely made barrels bombs, have routinely destroyed entire buildings, leaving civilians - men, women and children - dead in the rubble.
This is how many of the estimated more than 400,000 people killed in this war met their fate. And that, the US signalled today, is not something the Trump administration will seek to stop with military force.
The realisation is leaving many Syrians bitter. An activist who goes by the name Abu Assi, who lived in the suburbs of Damascus, but has since fled to France said: "I think the strike was to save the face of the United States."
"Whoever cares about one type of weapon that kills Syrians but not the rest, is not being serious. We know we will not be receiving help."
Hillary Clinton says Trump needs to rethink Syrian refugee ban
Hillary Clinton is speaking now in Houston.
She has called, for a long time, on exactly the type of action that Mr Trump carried out last night.
But she has called him out over his refugee ban, saying it was illogical.
The action taken last night needs to be followed by comprehensive plan for Syria.
You cannot claim to be protecting Syrian babies and then close the door to refugees.
Spicer: strikes "justified and proportional"
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, has been speaking in Florida - where Donald Trump is hosting Xi Jinping.
He says the US response to suspected chemical attacks by the Syrian government was "justified and proportional."
He said that the attacks on a Syrian air base late on Thursday were the result of a "72-hour evolution."
Russia attacks Britain at the UN
Vladimir Safronkov, the deputy Russian ambassador to the UN, accused Britain of "colonial hypocrisy" in supporting the US air strikes, and said the rational was based on "lies".
He warned Britain: "don't get into fights in the Arab world", and accused the US of "facilitating terrorism".
"All this is taking place because Washington, London and Paris have this paranoiac idea of overthrowing a legitimate government in Syria," he said.
Addressing the Security Council, he turned on Matthew Rycroft, the British ambassador, and berated him for blaming Russia for failing to stop the gassing of children.
"Mr Rycroft, stop putting forward these accusations.
"They are non diplomatic. They are lies.
"Once again I warn, don’t even try to get into fights in the Arab world. Nothing will work. Nothing will be achieved. That is why you are getting annoyed.
"All Arab countries recall your colonial hypocrisy."
Nikki Haley: The US will do it again if necessary
The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has just spoken now.
Key quotes from her speech:
"The United States took a very measured step last night. We are prepared to do more. But we hope that will not be necessary."
"Assad did this because he thought he could get away with it. He thought he could get away with it, because he knew Russia had its back."
"The moral stain could no longer be unanswered. His crimes against humanity could no longer be ignored."
"The US will no longer wait for Assad to use weapons with no consequences. Those days are over."
UN Security Council now holding emergency meeting now on Syria
Pentagon probes Russian involvement in chemical attack
A potentially game-changing development, just in from Associated Press:
Senior military officials say the US is looking into whether Russia participated in Syria's chemical weapons attack.
The officials say Russia has failed to control the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons.
They say a drone belonging either to Russia or Syria was seen hovering over the site of the chemical weapons attack Tuesday after it happened. The drone returned late in the day as citizens were going to a nearby hospital for treatment. Shortly afterward, officials say the hospital was bombed.
The officials say they believe the hospital attack may have been an effort to cover up evidence of the attack.
The officials weren't authorised to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity. They say they're still reviewing evidence.