The US military is planning a more extensive military operation against regime targets in Syria than had been previously planned, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
Unnamed "US officers" told the paper that the Pentagon is drawing up plans for 3 days of strikes against a list of targets significantly longer than the original list of 50, though it is still expected to be more a "show of force" than an attempt to influence events on the battlefield.
According to the report, the US military could utilize Air Force bombers, in addition to five US missile destroyers currently patrolling the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The plan would include two waves of strikes: an initial barrage against the extended list of targets, to be followed by a secondary one which would aim to strike missed targets, or those which hadn't been destroyed by the first.
The attack would involve the use of cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles which would be lanched from outside of the range of Syrian air defenses.
The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group, which includes cruiser USS Princeton and the destroyers USS William P. Lawrence, USS Stockdale and USS Shoup, could be included in the operation.
"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.
The report comes as US President Obama embarks on an intensive campaign to obtain popular support for an American-led military intervention in Syria.
Recent polls have shown that more than 60% of Americans oppose U.S. military involvement in Syria, while just over 10% support it.
Six media interviews and one national address are part of Obama’s plan to explain why he thinks America must take action in the wake of chemical weapons attacks in Syria – and to argue that U.S. involvement would not end in another drawn-out campaign like those in Iraq and Afghanistan.