U.S. officials continue to say that any likely military action would be limited and bear no resemblance to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or even the short military operation in Libya in 2010. Instead, it would center on cruise missiles fired from U.S. ships — including submarines — in the Mediterranean Sea.
There also is no enthusiasm for sending U.S. pilots into Syrian airspace. If additional military assets are needed in order to strike a larger number of targets inside Syria, the U.S. could use long-range bombers, which could fire missiles without crossing into the country’s airspace.
France also has a dozen cruise missile-capable fighter aircraft at military bases in the United Arab Emirates and the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti.