The Obama administration is again considering air strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad following the failure of a ceasefire deal brokered by the U.S. and Russia.
Top national security officials are meeting with senior administration officials Wednesday to address the ongoing crisis in the rebel-held city of Aleppo. President Obama is expected to reject proposed airstrikes, according to the Washington Post.
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Officials from the State Department, CIA, and Joint Chiefs of Staff met last week at the White House to discuss limited military strikes in Syria against the regime to punish Assad for violating the latest ceasefire and continuing to commit war crimes against his people.
Administration officials also hope to pressure Assad into diplomatic talks aimed at ending the country’s civil war, now in its sixth year.
The administration is considering a number of options that include bombing Syrian air force runways, an official participating in the discussions told the Post. The official said the White House would work around its long-standing refusal to strike the Assad regime without a U.N. Security Council resolution by covertly conducting the strikes.
"There’s an increased mood in support of kinetic actions against the regime," one senior administration official told the Post.
Still, Obama remains unlikely to approve military action against the regime.
The U.S. on Monday suspended bilateral engagement with Russia on negotiating a diplomatic resolution in Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry had worked to restore a week-long ceasefire with Moscow, but talks ultimately fell through given Russia’s continued assault on Aleppo along with Syrian forces.