President Donald Trump addressed the nation and says the purpose was to of the actions. "It's to establish a strong deterrent against the production spread and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States."
Last weekend's chemical weapons attack on the Syrian people was just the latest.
In 2017, President Trump ordered an airstrike on an air base in central Syria. The base is where planes allegedly had launched chemical attacks.
The United States struck the base with 58 missiles in response to the chemical attack that killed more than 80 people.
History of Chemical Attacks:
2012 - Former president Barack Obama says the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated by the Syrian regime.
2013 - A chemical attack killed more than 15-hundred people including children....
Obama gave a speech saying the United States should act against Syria but said congress should authorize any military action - congress didn't act.
The US then endorsed a Russian backed plan to remove chemical stocks from Syria and more than 1,300 tons of chemical agents were removed. Chlorine was not part of that deal.
The President had strong words for Russia, "In 2013, President Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Assad's chemical weapons but recent attacks and today's response are the direct result of Russia's failure to keep that promise. Russia must decide if they will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace."
More than half a million Syrians have died in this 7-year war. It is said that only a tiny percent of those have been killed from chemical strike as the vast majority has been killed by regime bombs, bullets and barrel bombs.