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U.S. missiles could strike Syria as soon as Thursday

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WASHINGTON – Missile strikes against Syria could happen as early as Thursday, according to NBC News sources.

NBC News reported other government officials said they believe an attack would not happen until after Sunday, when U.N inspectors leave Syria.

The strike would be sent as a message to Syria President Bashar Assad responding to the use of chemical weapons on the Syrian people.

The United States would limit these attacks and would not aim to kill Assad, according to U.S. officials.

Salim Idris, top general for the Free Syria Army, encouraged the airstrikes saying it is needed to stop more chemical attacks.

“Our sense of basic humanity is offended not only by this cowardly crime but also by the cynical attempt to cover it up,” Secretary of State John Kerry said to NBC News.

Chinese and Russian officials said both countries disagree with attacking Syria.

MORE: Read more from NBC News