Which is looking like a distinct possibility.
President Obama is willing to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria even while allies like Britain are debating whether to join the effort and without an endorsement from the United Nations Security Council, senior administration officials said Thursday.
Although the officials cautioned that Mr. Obama had not made a final decision, all indications suggest that the strike could occur as soon as United Nations inspectors, who are investigating the Aug. 21 attack that killed hundreds of Syrians, leave the country. They are scheduled to depart Damascus, the capital, on Saturday.
The White House is to present its case for military action against Syria to Congressional leaders on Thursday night. Administration officials assert that the intelligence will show that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad carried out the chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus.
The intelligence does not tie Mr. Assad directly to the attack, officials briefed on the presentation said, but the administration believes that it has enough evidence to carry out a limited strike that would deter the Syrian government from using these weapons again.