Hawks in Congress have long pushed the White House to consider more aggressive options in Syria from cruise missile strikes to no fly zones to humanitarian corridors. But during an off-the-record briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, a staffer for Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) floated a distinctly bolder approach.

“What about assassinating Assad?” the aide said, according to three individuals in the room.

The question raised eyebrows at the event, a briefing of about 75 staffers hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. The expert receiving the question was Philip Gordon, the former White House Middle East coordinator, who dismissed the idea as both illegal and ineffective, according to a congressional aide at the event who spoke to FP on condition of anonymity.

“His response was basically: ‘That’s against the law and it wouldn’t make a difference anyway, because the Russians still have an interest in Syria and the Iranians still have an interest in Syria,” said the staffer.

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