A little help to understand this:

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the Pentagon was presenting the Obama administration with the option of strikes at meetings this week. The strikes, which the Joint Chief of Staffs and the CIA are now said to favor, according to the Post, would see missiles fired at Assad air force bases, intended to punish the regime for its failure to abide by the cease-fire, hamper attacks against civilians and pressure it and Moscow to begin negotiating again.

My questions:

  1. . . . said to favor ?
    Does it mean that chief of staffs said this to favor the Obama administration?

  2. to pressure it.
    What does “it” refer to?

And why the flow of this line is award to my ears? ( a sort of pen of the author?)
((hamper attacks against civilians and pressure it and Moscow to begin negotiating again.))

Thanks everyone.

I read it as saying the JCS and CIA are in favor of the proposed strikes, as opposed to other options.

And “it” refers to the Assad regime.

THANKS A LOT,

Correction:
the word " award" in my last line question is a typo. replace it with " awkward"

Correction:

And why the flow of this line is awkward to my ears . . .

Actually, since it’s a question, it would be

And why is the flow of this line awkward to my ears?
I can tell you it’s very formal language; it sounds closer to lawyer-language than to the kind of language we’re used to seeing in newspapers nowadays. Like that line popped up from the 1950s.
And the complete sentence is very complicated; it’s got a lot of clauses and isn’t easy to parse; some of the connections are clunky (that “intended” made me go back to see what was being “intended” - aaaah, the missile strikes). Splitting it into two or three sentences would probably have been better, or even changing some of those commas to parentheses:

The strikes (which the Joint Chief of Staffs and the CIA are now said to favor, according to the Post) would see missiles fired at Assad air force bases, intended to punish the regime for its failure to abide by the cease-fire, hamper attacks against civilians and pressure it and Moscow to begin negotiating again.

Is still one bitch of a sentence chain, but at least that whole subordinate chunk is marked more clearly as being a subordinate. All those commas make it look as if everything is on the same syntactic level.

Thank you Nava,

And, about my question which it’s not in the question format, well . . . take it as “spoken”.

Hey Richard, you are leaving? (( which should be, Hey Richard, are you leaving? )).