Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in Prague for meetings with Czech officials, said she wouldn’t outline any specifics.
‘‘But suffice it to say, we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur,’’ Clinton said.
Options now being considered range from aerial strikes to limited raids by regional forces to secure the stockpiles, according to one current U.S. official, and one former U.S. official, briefed on the matter. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Syria is believed to have several hundred ballistic surface-to-surface missiles capable of carrying chemical warheads, and a U.S. defense official said American and allied intelligence officials have detected activity around more than one of Syria’s chemical weapons sites in the last week.
He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters about intelligence matters.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that Syria ‘‘will not use chemical weapons — if there are any — against its own people under any circumstances.’’
Heilprin reported from Geneva. Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, Aya Batrawy in Cairo, Bradley Klapper in Prague, Kimberly Dozier and Pauline Jelinek in Washington and Vladimir Isachenkov in Istanbul contributed reporting.