PALM BEACH, United States, April 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he had ordered targeted missile strikes at a Syrian military airfield and called the strikes in the nation's "vital interest."

Speaking to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump said the Syrian government "ignored the urging of the UN Security Council."

"The refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize," said Trump.

According to local news reports, U.S. warships launched around 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian government airbase.

The United States believed that Syrian planes based at the airbase carried out chemical attacks on Tuesday that killed over 70 people and wounded scores of others, most of whom civilians in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said early on Thursday that the Syrian airstrike on a rebel-held town in Idlib struck a rebel depot containing chemical materials, denying that the air force fired toxic gas during the attack.

At a press conference held in response to the international accusation that Syria allegedly fired toxic gas in Idlib, al-Moallem said the reports are "lies."