WASHINGTON (AP) — While the Obama administration insists the Syrian government must be punished, U.S. officials are still assessing how best to do it.
Two senior administration officials say they are grappling with what type of military strike might deter future chemical weapons attacks while also trying to assess how President Bashar Assad would respond.
In the meantime, U.S. intelligence agencies are preparing a report laying out the evidence against Assad's government in chemical weapons attacks on civilians. A classified version would be sent to key members of Congress and a declassified version would be released publicly.
However, the White House says it's already convinced the Assad regime was behind the attacks and is rounding up support from international partners as it plans a possible military response.
One senior official says if action is taken, the objective and reasons must be "clearly defined" and based on "clear facts."
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