MIKE MORELL: I'd give them the things that they need to both go after the Assad government, but also to have the Iranians and the Russians pay a little price.
When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia militia, who were killing American soldiers, right? The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.”
CHARLIE ROSE: We make them pay the price by killing, killing Russians? and killing Iranians?
MIKE MORELL: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE And killing Iranians?
MIKE MORELL: Yes. Covertly. You don’t tell the world about it. You don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say, "We did this." But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.
Here's the other thing I want to do. I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad. I want to go after his presidential guard. I want to bomb his offices in the middle of the night...I want to destroy his presidential aircraft on the ground. I want to destroy his presidential helicopters.
I want to make him think we're coming after him. I'm not advocating assassinating him. I'm not advocating that. I'm advocating going after what he thinks is his power base, right, and what he needs to survive. I want him to think about, "This is not going to end well for me." I want to put pressure on him, I want to put pressure on the Iranians, I want to put pressure on the Russians to come to that diplomatic settlement.