WASHINGTON: The scale and purpose of the operation against Syria has not changed in recent weeks, although U.S. forces would adjust as needed, a defense official told AFP.
“We will continue to review our targeting and targeting options as the Syrian government adapts over time,” said the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We are working to the same objective that President [Barack] Obama has outlined,” he said in response to a report in the Los Angeles Times Sunday.
The strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, in retaliation for what the U.S. says is the regime’s use of chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb, could last longer than a day, officials have said.
The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday the Pentagon was readying more intense and longer attacks on Syria than originally planned.
War planners now aim to unleash a heavy barrage of missile strikes to be followed swiftly by additional attacks on targets that may have been missed or remain standing after the initial launch, the Times cited officials as saying.
Pentagon planners are now considering using Air Force bombers, as well as five U.S. missile destroyers currently patrolling the eastern Mediterranean Sea, to launch cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles from far out of range of Syrian air defenses, according to the newspaper report.
The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group with one cruiser and three destroyers positioned in the Read Sea can also fire cruise missiles at Syria.
“There will be several volleys and an assessment after each volley, but all within 72 hours and a clear indication when we are done,” an officer familiar with the planning told the Times.