An American national security official has reportedly outlined Washington’s war strategies for Syria, saying the US administration is preparing to use B-2 and B-52 bombers for a potential military strike against the country.
President Barack Obama’s national security team is preparing for a “significantly larger military attack than most had anticipated,” ABC News reported.
The unnamed official told ABC News the military action could do more damage to forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “in 48 hours than the Syrian rebels have done in nearly two years of civil war.”
“The air campaign which is expected to last at least two days will potentially include an aerial bombardment of missiles and long range bombs fired from B-2 and B-52 bombers flying from the United States,” according to the ABC News report by Jonathan Karl.
“That in addition to a relentless assault of Tomahawk missiles fired from those four Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean. Those ships are loaded with nearly 200 missiles, plans call for firing the vast majority of them,” it added.
In an interview with CNN, a US official also characterized the long-range bombers as options.
"You can employ stand-off weapons from an aircraft, just as easily as from a ship or submarine. Aerial assets can be used from a distance," he said.
Other reports also indicated that the US military was preparing to employ greater firepower to reach shifting military targets.
“The revised options under development include the use of Air Force bombers to supplement US destroyers in the Mediterranean,” The Wall Street Journal said.
The B-2 and B-52 bombers are equipped with joint air-to-surface missiles, designed to destroy both mobile and fixed targets. The missiles' primary advantage is that they allow pilots to operate outside the lethal range of most hostile air defense systems.