Washington: If the United States plans to strike Syria the attack is `likely to last hours not days` a senior US defense official has said.
The official added that the US strike would probably not come before the British Parliament votes on military action on Thursday.
Sources told Fox News that a strike would be led by the US Navy and its assets positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean and that it would be limited in scope.
According to the report, four US Navy destroyers are in position, along with at least one nuclear-powered submarine. A British submarine is also available if Britain`s Parliament approves military action.
US military officials said that there are no plans in the initial mission to strike or secure President Bashar al-Assad`s chemical weapons, which are spread among 50 different sites.
Pentagon officials said that Assad is estimated to have more than 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, adding that any plans to secure them would require Special Operations and boots on the ground.
Senior US defense officials said that the current goal is to deter the regime from using chemical weapons in the future.
Pentagon officials confirmed that strike plans do not include regime change, so there is little need for waves of air or missile strikes over several days.