Washington: The Pentagon has stepped up planning for potential military intervention in the Syrian civil war.
The move comes specifically because of growing evidence the Syrian regime may have used chemical weapons.
According to CNN, a senior administration official said that `there is intensified planning underway as more precise evidence has come that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons`.
If President Barack Obama were to order action, it could involve thousands of US troops. The official said it`s not likely to involve troops on the ground in Syria.
Two other officials said that the most likely options would be using cruise missiles based at sea and fighter jets to try to destroy chemical sites or the headquarters of Syrian military elements linked to them, the report said.
The official said that the new planning is an effort to `align` military capabilities with various options and scenarios that could likely emerge.
According to the report, he however also emphasized it also involves looking at more direct U.S. military involvement in providing humanitarian relief for the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees now in Jordan and Turkey.