DOD drafting plans to strike Syrian chemical weapon targets
Senior U.S. defense officials are drafting plans for a potential preemptive strike against government forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, prompted by concerns over the country's chemical weapon stockpiles.
While information on the specific status of those weapons remains extremely fluid, recent U.S. intelligence showed Assad's forces outfitting air-to-ground bombs with sarin gas at two airfields in Syria, according to CNN.
That latest development spurred on the Pentagon's latest strategic assessment of its military options in the country, according to several Defense Department officials.
"The more information and intelligence you have, the more clarity you can bring to options you may decide to use," a department official told CNN on Friday.
"You would expect new information like this to drive an update of options," the official said.
When asked Friday about DOD's planning efforts for a possible military strike against targets inside Syria, Pentagon press secretary George Little replied that the Pentagon was "prepared for a full range of contingencies."
News of the plans caps off an intense week of warnings and ultimatums from the Obama administration to the Assad regime concerning its possible use of chemical weapons against rebel forces fighting to overthrow the longtime Syrian leader.