The Pentagon has prepared options for a military response should Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime again deploy chemical weapons, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Saturday.
"We are in a dialogue, a routine dialogue, with the president to make sure he knows where we are with regard to planning in the event that chemical weapons are used," Dunford said, adding that President Trump "expects us to have military options."
Meanwhile, in southern Syria, U.S. troops conducted a live-fire aerial assault exercise on Friday, using the practice bombing to warn away Assad regime forces and their Russian allies from an American base near the Syria-Iraq border.
"The United States does not seek to fight the Russians, the government of Syria, or any groups that may be providing support to Syria in the Syrian civil war," said Lt. Col. Earl Brown of the exercises on behalf of U.S. Central Command. "However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend U.S., coalition, or partner forces."