The Pentagon is considering a doubling - up of its strike capacity as Washington is preparing for an attack on Syria.
US naval commanders announced on Thursday that US destroyers are “fully ready” to conduct what they called a “vast spectrum of operations” against Syria,The Independentreported. According to the British newspaper, the Pentagon is planning to broaden its strike capacity using US Air Force assets including weapons - bearing bombers. The assets include B - 52 bombers, which can carry and launch cruise missiles, B1s armed with long - range and air - to - surface missiles, and B - 2 stealth bombers. Meanwhile, TheNew York Timeshas reported that the administration of President Barack Obama is considering the use of US and French aircraft to conduct strikes in Syria. TheTimesalso said that Obama has directed the Pentagon to expand the list of potential strike targets in Syria. The involvement of manned aircraft in a possible military operation in Syria has raised concerns over how the US would act if American airmen were shot down while overflying Syrian territory. “We have provided a range of options to the President, but we will not discuss the details of those options or our operational planning, ” Commander Bill Speaks, a Pentagon spokesman, toldThe Independent. On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 in favor of a resolution authorizing the Obama administration to attack Syria. The resolution would limit military action against Syria to a period of 60 days, with the possibility of a 30-day extension. It also bans the use of US ground troops. Obama administration officials have embarked upon an extensive lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill where US lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are expected to vote on military action against Syria after they return from recess on September 9. Washington has accused the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21, killing hundreds of people. The Syrian government has strongly rejected the allegation. Russia has said the evidence provided by the US and its allies is “inconclusive” and contains “no supporting facts.” A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll has shown that nearly 60 percent of Americans are against missile strikes on Syria over accusations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against militant groups. The poll also shows that seven in 10 Americans oppose Washington and its allies’ arming militant groups in Syria.