On Thursday night the United States carried out a swift and confident #missile strike in Syria, a response to the chemical weapons attack that took place earlier in the week, killing dozens of civilians, many of them babies and children. President Trump's rapid, risky and seemingly instinctive response to the Syrian chemical weapons attack has upended years of US diplomacy doctrine that aims to keep America out of messy international conflicts.

An emotional response

The way in which President Trump responded, from the moments the #Syrian attack occurred, spoke of a man with feeling but also lack of clarity between foreign policy and personal sentiment.

This was a man was understandably emotionally effected by the images of young children and babies dying and gasping beneath the cruel toll of chemical weapons. But critics pointed out on Thursday that this man has the power of the world's largest military behind him. He told reporters in the #White House on Wednesday that the seeing the children being attacked had a big affect on him, and he repeated the phrase "big impact".

The next day when he spoke to the press at his Mar-a-Lago estate his language became more impartial and more colored. He used words like 'choked', 'slow and brutal death'. He even talked of 'beautiful babies' that were 'cruelly murdered' in the horrible and barbaric assault.

"No child of God should ever suffer such horror," the affected President Trump said finally.

The strikes carried out by Tomahawks

Fifty-nine #Tomahawk cruise missiles struck the Al Shayrat airfield in #Syria according to a senior military official who was briefed on the attack. The United States aimed the flying missile toward Syrian fighter jets and other equipment and structures within Assad's military, but no chemical weapons were aimed for.

The United States also made sure to brief Russia on the event through a special established cable communication line, called the deconfliction channel, so that no Russian personnel or planes were hit.

Trump speaks to the nation

Trump announced to the nation on Thursday night that he had ordered a targeted military attack on the air base in #Syria from where the Syrian chemical attack originated.

He spoke to the press from his residence at Mar-a-Lago in Florida where he was meeting the Chinese President Xi Jinping. “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 Pentagon, in alerting #Russian military personnel to the attack minutes before it happened, understood that the Russians would alert the Assad regime. This would have given the Syrians a chance to remove some of their planes and equipment. The swiftness with which Trump acted, however, sent out a clear and confident message to #Assad: that his use of chemical weapons against the people of Syria would not be tolerated by the international community.

Also, if Assad continues to use chemical weapons then the United States of America will respond with unabashed military force.

The American missiles arrived at the Syrian airfield around eight o'clock on Thursday night, EST, and the airstrikes lasted for around five minutes. No Russian planes or facilities were hit by the strikes and the Syrian and Russian operations had had warning to clear out all personnel from the bases too.

An American official told the New York Times that the military action that Trump pursued was the more restrained option that he was given when briefed earlier in the day by his leading team of military and international security experts and also by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The swift action shocked many in the House and Senate and it remains to be seen how Syria will respond.