The US defence chief said the military is preparing for a possible order to strike targets in Syria after reports of alleged chemical weapon use against civilians.
Chuck Hagel said aboard a flight to Asia that President Barack Obama had asked the military to prepare a range of options in Syria, the Pentagon press office said on Friday night.
“The Defence Department has a responsibility to provide the President with options for contingencies, and that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options — whatever options the president might choose,” Mr. Hagel said.
Hagel declined to discuss any specific options, but other reports said the US Navy was reinforcing its presence in the Mediterranean Sea.
The defence chief called for a quick investigation to determine “what exactly did happen” in the alleged use of chemical weapons use by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
“We’re still assessing that,” he said.