U.S., France and Britain Craft Broad Plans for Strike on Syria by Dion Nissenbaum and Gordon Lubold – Wall Street Journal
Britain, France and the U.S. united Thursday around broad plans for a military strike against Syria as they worked to bridge differences over the scope and purpose of a coordinated response to a suspected chemical weapons attack, U.S. officials said.
President Donald Trump met with his national security team to weigh military options while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sought to limit the impact of an expected attack by moving warplanes under the protection of Russian air defenses.
While officials in all three countries said there now is definitive proof that Syria used chemical weapons last weekend to kill dozens of civilians, they had yet to finalize plans for a strike as the Pentagon warned about the risks of miscalculation.
Momentum had been building for a unified reprisal, especially after Mr. Trump suggested Wednesday on Twitter that a cruise missile strike was looming.
But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis injected a public note of caution into the discussion Thursday, suggesting that the U.S. and its allies had to carefully calibrate any strike to ensure that it didn’t trigger a broader conflict with Syria’s two biggest backers, Russia and Iran…