“It was decided that should the international community be forced to act in Syria, the most responsible and sustainable response would be limited missile strikes,” the official said on condition of anonymity on Tuesday following a meeting held in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
The military leaders led by Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey agreed to prepare for the strike as early as this week, the official added.
Meanwhile, the British Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman said UK armed forces are devising contingency plans for military action against the Arab country over the alleged use of chemical weapons.
The UK has been reportedly sending warplanes and military transporters to its airbase in Cyprus, situated near Syria.
US defense officials also say several navy destroyers have been deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean to be used against Syria upon an order of President Barack Obama.
“[The destroyers] are in position if needed, but they, to my knowledge, have received no tasking to this point, and that would come obviously from the White House,” an American military official said on condition of anonymity.
On August 21, the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that 1,300 people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.
However, the Syrian government categorically rejected the baseless claim, and announced later that the chemical attack had been actually carried out by the militants themselves as a false flag operation.
Damascus later allowed UN chemical weapons inspectors to the site of the chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital on Monday, when they began taking samples from the victims.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since the outbreak of the violence.