The US may be on the verge of striking Syria -- here's a look at its firepower in the region

US Navy aircraft carrierUS Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ignacio D. Perez/ReleasedF/A-18 Hornets demonstrate air power over the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).

The White House announced on Monday night that US intelligence services had spotted the Syrian regime potentially preparing for another chemical weapons attack.

“As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price,” read the statement.

With the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier and its accompanying strike group in the Mediterranean, US Air Force presences in Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey, as well as forces on the ground, the US has a multitude of options for carrying out a strike in Syria, despite a heavy Russian presence and advanced missile defences.

In the slides below, take a look at the US’s firepower in the region.

Here's the USS George H.W. Bush, complete with aircraft for logistics, air-to-air, air-to-ground, intelligence and surveillance, early warning, and anti-submarine warfare.

The USS George H.W. Bush

Here's a loaded-up F/A-18E. This one has an air-to-ground heavy load out, but still carries air-to-air missiles in case an enemy aircraft attacks the US or US-backed forces, as was the case when an F/A-18E had to shoot down a Syrian Su-22.

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage
An F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to the 'Blacklions' of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 is fully loaded with 10 GBU-32 1,000 pound bombs aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

The crew can launch one of these every two minutes or so. F/A-18Es off the Bush have flown over 4,000 sorties against ISIS since the start of the campaign.

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Gaines
An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to the 'Golden Warriors' of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87 launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) to conduct flight operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve June 6, 2017.

But US aircraft carriers don't roll alone. Here it's resupplying from the USNS Supply.

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patrick Ian Crimmins
Two MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters assigned to the 'Tridents' of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 transport supplies from the fast-combat supply ship USNS Supply (T-AOE-6) to the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) during a replenishment-at-sea.

Cruisers like the USS Hue City keep watch and provide missile defence for the aircraft carriers.

US Navy
The USS Hue City.

Each cruiser contributes dozens of cruise missiles, used by the US on April 7 after Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons on civilians.

US Navy photo
The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and the guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) transit westward in the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group. The Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group is completing its deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

While some Syrian forces are protected by Russian missile defence systems, the US's combine naval firepower could overwhelm them in a heartbeat.

US Navy
USS Laboon DDG-58.

Here a gunner keeps watch on the USS Truxtun, another guided-missile destroyer keeping the Bush safe.

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin J. Steinberg
Gunner's Mate 1st Class William E. Whitlock stands watch at a double barrel 50-calibre machine gun aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) during a strait transit exercise.

Moving on to air power, the US has tried and tested platforms like F-16s and A-10s at Turkey's Incirlik Air Base ...

US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devin M. Rumbaugh
US Senior Airman Justin Macken (left), and Staff Sgt. Alex Albrecht, crew chiefs with the 447th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, speak with the A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot during a pre-flight check April 5, 2017, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

... And heavy, nuclear-capable bombers at Qatar's Al Udeid Air Base.

US Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb
US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress aircraft from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., arrived at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, April 9, 2016 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community, and as needed in the region.

Additionally, US ground forces in the region aren't exactly toothless. With high-mobility artillery rockets and howitzers on the ground, the US can do a lot of damage.

US Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ricardo Davila
US Army soldiers fire a high mobility artillery rocket system during a live fire exercise at Adazi Training Grounds, Latvia, June 8, 2017.

It also has squadrons of fighter jets in Jordan.

US Air Force by Master Sgt. Benjamin Bloker
A US F-16 fighter jet during practice maneuvers over the desert.

Another tool exclusive to the US is stealth aircraft. An F-22 Raptor can operate in the most heavily defended airspace in the world, or dogfight with the Syrian or Russian jets.

US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.
An F-22 Raptor maneuvers after being in-air refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker April 25, 2014, over the US Central Command area of responsibility.

And that's not even counting the rest of the Coalition, with dozens of countries contributing firepower and aide to decimate ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Operation Inherent Resolve

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