The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

August 25, 2013

Hagel: Military options against Syria being weighed

ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT OVER THE PACIFIC — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is suggesting that the Pentagon is moving naval forces closer to Syria in case President Barack Obama decides to order military strikes.

Speaking to reporters aboard his military aircraft en route Friday from Hawaii to Malaysia, Hagel declined to discuss any specific force movements.

He said Obama has asked the Pentagon to provide military options in light of reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians.

Hagel said the U.S. will coordinate with the international community in determining whether such an attack was carried out. And he said it is important to make a determination swiftly because of the possibility that the Syrian government could be readying further chemical attacks.

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