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.
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.
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.
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.
While some Syrian forces are protected by Russian missile defence systems, the US's combine naval firepower could overwhelm them in a heartbeat.
Here a gunner keeps watch on the USS Truxtun, another guided-missile destroyer keeping the Bush safe.
Moving on to air power, the US has tried and tested platforms like F-16s and A-10s at Turkey's Incirlik Air Base ...
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.
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.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.