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Brian Williams calls images of US missile launch 'beautiful'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/7/2017
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2014, file photo, Brian Williams speaks at the 8th Annual Stand Up For Heroes, presented by New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York. Williams is facing online criticism for saying on MSNBC Thursday, April 6, 2017, for describing video of U.S. missiles launching during an attack on a Syrian air base as "beautiful." (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2014, file photo, Brian Williams speaks at the 8th Annual Stand Up For Heroes, presented by New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York. Williams is facing online criticism for saying on MSNBC Thursday, April 6, 2017, for describing video of U.S. missiles launching during an attack on a Syrian air base as "beautiful." (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Brian Williams is facing online criticism for waxing poetic about what he called "beautiful pictures" of U.S. missiles launching during an attack on a Syrian air base.

In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017. The United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP) © The Associated Press In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017. The United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP)

Video released by the military shows Tomahawk missiles targeted for a Syrian airfield launching from the decks of U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday.

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In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017. The United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP) © The Associated Press In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017. The United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP)

During his MSNBC program, "The 11th Hour," late Thursday night, Williams said the "beautiful pictures at night" tempted him to quote a line from a Leonard Cohen song: "I am guided by the beauty of our weapons." He went on to call the images "beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments."

In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a tomahawk land attack missile Friday, April 7, 2017, from the Mediterranean Sea. The United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/U.S. Navy via AP) © The Associated Press In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a tomahawk land attack missile Friday, April 7, 2017, from the Mediterranean Sea. The United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/U.S. Navy via AP)

Williams was quickly mocked and criticized on Twitter for the remarks, with some users suggesting they were insensitive to the realities of war.

MSNBC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

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