"We are aware of a dissent channel cable written by a group of State Department employees regarding the situation in Syria," Kirby stated. "We are reviewing the cable now, which came up very recently, and I am not going to comment on the contents."
The internal memo, a draft of which was obtained by The New York Times from a State Department official on Thursday, calls for "a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons" against Assad forces.
The employees who have signed the letter have all been involved in Washington’s Syria policy over the last five years, according to the New York Times.
On February 27, a US-Russia brokered ceasefire came into force in Syria. Terrorist groups such as the Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front), both outlawed in Russia and a range of other states, are not part of the deal.
Russia recognizes Assad as the legitimate authority in Syria, and has repeatedly stated the Syrian people should be free to choose their leadership without outside intervention. The United States and some of its allies have been supporting elements of the opposition, which is often tied to Islamic extremists, and have urged Assad to resign.