White House to hold Sunday Syria briefings for lawmakers (video)

Administration officials are planning classified and unclassified briefings with senators and House members as some lawmakers clamor for the White House to better explain anticipated U.S. strikes against the Syrian regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons this month in the suburbs of Damascus.

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Top Obama administration officials including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry will hold separate unclassified phone briefings for Senate Democrats and Republicans Saturday afternoon.  

A White House source said National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper would also participate in the calls.

Vice President Joe Biden was also at the White House on Saturday morning, despite his official schedule saying he would be in Delaware with no public events.

White House sources won’t confirm if Biden will be involved with the Senate calls.

Meanwhile, Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office said Saturday that administration officials will offer a classified briefing to House members on Sunday afternoon.

The Speaker’s office added that “many classified briefings” will be offered for members who are not in Washington and will be unable to attend Sunday’s briefing.

Also, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is also making staff members available this weekend to allow lawmakers to review the administration’s classified assessment, delivered late Friday.

The briefings come after the White House on Friday released an intelligence report that said that said 1,429 Syrians — including 426 children — had been killed in the alleged chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs. 

President Obama said Friday that the U.S. is considering a “limited” and “narrow” military strike against Syria. The president said the world had "an obligation to make sure we maintain the norm against the use of chemical weapons," although he had not made a final decision about what actions might be taken.

"This kind of attack is a challenge to the world," Obama said. "We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on a terrible scale."

Obama said that while a "wide range of options" for possible military action was under review, the White House was not considering "any boots-on-the-ground approach."

--This report was originally published at 10:58 a.m. and last updated at 1:40 a.m.