US Military Commanders Await Green Light for Syria Attacks

Convinced that Assad gassed Syrians, the United States has identified targets for attack.
3:34 | 08/27/13

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Transcript for US Military Commanders Await Green Light for Syria Attacks
crisis with syria, really heating up. Just moments ago, the government there promising to use all available means to defend itself from a u.S. Strike. Preparations for that strike are ramping up right now. This comes hours after u.S. Officials called the use of chemical weapons by the syrian government, cowardly, undeniable and a moral obscenity. Let's get right to the region, where abc's martha raddatz is tracking all of this on the ground in amman, jordan. Good morning, martha. Reporter: Good morning, george and elizabeth. This region is bracing for a possible military attack on syria, which could come soon. This morning, potential targets have been identified. Allies consulted. And military commanders await only the green light to launch attacks. These images seen around the world have had a profound effect in washington. Secretary of state john kerry, saying in no uncertain terms, that what the assad regime has done will not go unpunished. Make no mistake, president obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people. Reporter: For kerry, the attacks seemed personal. As a father, I can't get the image out of my head of a man who held up his dead child, wailing, while chaos swirled around him. Reporter: While the administration is convinced a chemical attack occurred, the u.N. Is proceeding with its investigation. Those inspectors who came under sniper fire, donning bulletproof vests to interview survivors. While u.N. Authorization would be ideal, it's doubt that would come. If the united states stands by and doesn't take serious action, not just launching some cruise missiles, again, our credibility in the world is diminished even more, if there's any left. Martha, as you said, this military strike could come soon. A tricky calculation by the obama administration. They want to punish the assad regime but they don't want to get into a prolonged war. Reporter: They do not, george. This will be a limited strike, a limited objective, to prevent syria from launching any further chemical attacks. You will probably see cruise missiles from the mediterranean s sea, destroyers in the mediterranean sea, possibly long-range bombers. It will probably last two to three days. The white house is saying the president has not yet made a decision. There would be no direct hit, i cannot imagine, on chemical weapons because that would be very dangerous. Those weapons could disperse. But a limited objective here, george and elizabeth. They do not want to get involved in syria's civil war. Martha, we've seen consultations begin with congress and our allies. The united kingdom has drawn up contingency plans for a military strike. But the next action we expect to see from the u.S. Government, app intelligence report pinning all of this on the syrian government. Reporter: They will present an intelligence report. But you can't get much stronger than what john kerry said yesterday. They say there is undeniable evidence. It is just a matter of time. Martha raddatz, thanks very much.

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