The United States could hit Syria with three days of missile strikes, perhaps beginning Thursday, in an attack meant more to send a message to the Syrian regime than to cripple its military, senior U.S. officials told NBC News.
The disclosure added to a growing drumbeat around the world for military action against Syria, believed to have used chemical weapons in recent days against scores of civilians and rebels who have been fighting the government for two years.
In three days of strikes, the Pentagon could assess the effectiveness of the first wave and target what was missed in further rounds, the senior officials said.
Secretary of State John Kerry says the use of chemical weapons in Syria is "undeniable" and that the U.S. is considering how to respond. Watch his entire statement
Underscoring the urgency facing world leaders, the British prime minister called Parliament back from vacation and said it would take a vote Thursday on action, and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the American military was “ready to go.”