US Considers Military Intervention in Syria - Hagel
The US is actively considering all options it might take towards the civil war in Syria, including a military intervention, stated US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Although Hagel said this is only one option amongst others, this is an unprecedented statement contrasting with the US's up to now more distanced stance.
Western countries have taken a more active approach, following reports that chemical weapons were used in the Syrian conflict over this week.
"The Defence Department has responsibility to provide the president with options for all contingencies," said Hagel while on a visit to Malaysia Sunday.
"And that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options - whatever options the president might choose," added he.
However he explained that his statement does not necessarily mean that the US has already started to position forces.
"A very quick assessment of what happened, and whatever appropriate response should be made, that needs to happen within that time frame of responsible action," said the US Defense Secretary, without specifying a time frame.
At the same time, the US foreign office said that over the week Secretary of State John Kerry has talked to Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem in order to be assured of Syria's claims that the government is not responsible for the alleged chemical attack.
Kerry has further talked to diplomatic representatives from across the Middle East in an effort to clear up the circumstances around the incident.
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