Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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President Barack Obama said the United States does not plan to send troops to Syria. That leaves airstrikes as the most likely response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime's use of chemical weapons.
The military, especially the U.S. Navy which already has five warships in position in the Mediterranean, are ready to go – all they are waiting for is the president's order.
CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reports.
(CNN) - Declaring himself "war-weary" but determined to hold Syria accountable for using banned chemical weapons, President Barack Obama said Friday he was considering a limited response to what U.S. intelligence assessed with "high confidence" as a Syrian attack that killed more than 1,400 people.
Watch CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" at 4 p.m. ET for our full interview with Sen. Jim Inhofe.
The Obama administration will release declassified intelligence Friday backing up a government assessment that the Syrian regime was responsible for a chemical weapons attack, a senior administration official said.
Diplomatic and political developments this week raised the chances of the United States going it alone in a military intervention in Syria. A U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria ended in deadlock, and in the U.S. Congress, doubts about military intervention are making the rounds.
Administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, briefed key lawmakers on the situation in a telephone conference Thursday night.
Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was on that call. He said even after hearing the administration's stance, he opposes a strike on Syria. From a military standpoint, said Inhofe, the U.S. simply cannot afford it.
More than 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, mostly Republicans and some Democrats, sent President Barack Obama a letter demanding he consult with Congress before ordering any action.
Democratic congressman Alan Grayson, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, outright opposes any intervention.
"We are not the world's policemen. That is not our responsibility," said Grayson.
The crisis in Syria has spawned a global game of chess with diplomatic gymnastics, dangerous weapons, and potentially deadly consequences. There has been political and military maneuvering everywhere from London, to Moscow, to Paris, to Washington, to Tehran, to Jerusalem and beyond.
The White House told reporters that President Barack Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday, the latest in a growing list of world leaders he has reached out to on Syria. One of those leaders likely on Obama's speed dial is British Prime Minister David Cameron, who spent Thursday in Parliament trying to ease the political anxiety over intervention in Syria.
"The question before the House today is how to respond to one of the most abhorrent uses of chemical weapons in a century," Cameron said. "I am deeply mindful of the lessons of previous conflicts, and in particular the deep concerns in the country caused by what went wrong with the Iraq conflict in 2003. But this is not like Iraq. What we are seeing in Syria is fundamentally different."
Time magazine has a cover story on Obama's dilemma in Syria, dubbing the president, "The Unhappy Warrior," saying he is not pleased with the decisions he has to make.
Russia, Iran, and China are completely opposed to action, "that part we're particularly clear on," said Bobby Ghosh, editor at Time magazine. "As the president tries to pull together a coalition of the willing, that's a little more complicated."