Now Playing:

President Donald Trump spoke to the nation late Friday on U.S. missile strikes against the Assad regime in response to its purported chemical weapons attack against Syrian civilians. (April 13)

Media: Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump ordered a military attack against Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday, joining allies Britain and France in launching missile strikes in retaliation for what Western nations said was the deliberate gassing of Syrian civilians.

The coordinated strike marked the second time in a year that Trump has used force against Assad, who U.S. officials believe has continued to test the West's willingness to accept gruesome chemical attacks.

Trump, speaking from the White House late Friday, said the attack last weekend was "a significant escalation" of Assad's use of chemical weapons and warranted a stepped-up international response.

The alleged chemical weapons use was not the work of "a man," Trump said. They were "the crimes of a monster instead."