Apr 6, 2017

Mattis to brief Trump on Syria military options

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

The Pentagon is presenting a series of military options — including strikes against air defenses, grounding Syrian aircraft and targeted strikes against those responsible for the recent chemical weapons attack — to the White House, per NBC News. Secretary of Defense James Mattis is expected to go over those options with Trump today at Mar-a-Lago.

The move follows reports that the U.S. actually saw a Syrian aircraft carry out the chemical weapons attack that has led President Trump to consider retaliatory military action agains the Assad regime. NBC News reported that U.S. military officials saw the aircraft on radar, and watched as the bombs were dropped.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Tillerson told reporters Thursday that the U.S. is prepared to lead an international coalition to oust Assad, and that "those steps are underway." He also noted that, "clearly with the acts that he has taken it would seem there would be no role for him to govern the Syrian people."

Trump isn't going public with any plans yet, though. He told reporters on Air Force One: "I don't want to say what I'm going to be doing with respect to Syria."

Go deeper

America's future looks a lot like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 hours ago - Health