WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior Obama administration officials say the United States would retaliate if Syrian President Bashar Assad (bah-SHAR' AH'-sahd) were to order his forces to go after American planes launching airstrikes against terror targets in Syria.
FILE - This Aug. 1, 2013 file photo posted on the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency shows Syrian President Bashar Assad talking with soldiers during Syrian Arab Army Day in Darya, Syria. (AP Photo/Syrian Presidency via Facebook, File)
The officials say such a move would put Assad's significant air defenses at risk. They say the U.S. has a good sense of where those air defenses are located, as well as their command and control installations.
President Barack Obama has authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria to go after Islamic State militant targets. However, no strikes in Syria have been carried out so far.
The officials insisted on anonymity Monday in order to discuss the administration's thinking on the matter.