Two unnamed White House officials told the Associated Press that the Obama administration is still deciding on what Syrian targets will be attacked and to what degree during a military strike that now seems inevitable.
While the strike itself will be conducted only after the White House presents the public with what it believes is “undeniable” proof of chemical weapon use carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, intelligence agencies and policy makers are struggling to decide what goals they hope to achieve by launching an attack.
One of the officials granted anonymity to speak to the AP said, “If there is action taken, it must be clearly defined what the objective is and why” and based on “clear facts.” Meanwhile, another official briefed on a potential strike told the Los Angeles Times that the White House may opt for an attack “just muscular enough not to get mocked,” but one that wouldn’t be severe enough to warrant a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.
“They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” the Times quoted the source as saying.
The US and its allies already have enough resources throughout the region to strike Syria at any moment. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said earlier this week that the American military “was in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take.” Once Pres. Obama authorizes a strike, he said, US forces were “ready to go, like that.”
RT has the full article