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US ready for ‘all contingencies’ in Syria: Pentagon chief

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US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has reiterated that the Pentagon has prepared “options for all contingencies” in Syria and is ready to use force if President Barack Obama gives the green-light.

“President Obama has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option — if he decides to employ one of those options,” Hagel said Sunday in Malaysia where he was starting a one-week tour of Asia.

He said that the administration was still weighing whether to launch a military offensive against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following reports of a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus earlier this week.

“There are risks and consequences for any option that would be used or not used – for action or inaction,” the Pentagon chief told reporters. “You have to come to the central point of what would be the objective if you are to pursue an action or not pursue an action. So all those assessments are being made.”

President Obama met with his national security team at the White House early on Saturday to discuss reports of the chemical attack in Syria and elaborate on a response.

“We have a range of options available, and we are going to act very deliberately so that we’re making decisions consistent with our national interest as well as our assessment of what can advance our objectives in Syria,” a senior administration official told CNN on condition of anonymity when discussing the options being revised in ongoing White House meetings.

Also on Saturday, Obama called British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss a potential response to the suspected chemical attack.

Meanwhile, the US Navy is pre-positioning four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and is moving its forces closer to Syria in anticipation of a possible order for airstrikes by President Obama.

Obama said last year that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would “cross a red line.”

The Syrian opposition accuses government forces of attacking militant strongholds near the capital with a toxic gas on Wednesday. Damascus has rejected the claim as baseless, saying it has proof that the militants were responsible for the attack which killed hundreds of people.


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  • Zharkov

    Just like Japan was “prepared” for all contingencies at Fukushima?

    One reason why most people don’t believe the Syrian government used war gas on its own people is that the attack happened in Damascus, and that is where Assad’s main support is located. So it would be the rebels who would be attacking them, not the Syrian government. Who benefits from killing Assad’s supporters? Not Assad, for certain.

    So a red line has been crossed, but by whom?

    The likely suspects include Israel, which would love to rid itself of Syrian troops near its border; Al Qaeda and the rebel forces who would love to get Assad removed from office by US cruse missiles; and perhaps even the US government who want “regime change” in Syria as soon as possible.

    Until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Assad issued the orders to kill his own supporters in Damascus, no military action by outsiders should occur. In a civilized society, we do not kill people without convincing evidence of guilt.

    If America is to continue to be regarded as a democratic state, our Congress must have proof, and then vote to declare war, before a single shot is fired at Syria. The decision for or against war is one required to be exclusively made by Congress, not the UN, and not Obama.

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  • mike

    So Chuck are you prepared for “options for all contingencies” in your homeland once the shit hits the fan ? A growing majority round the world have woke up to the lies you and your masters are spouting and contriving and its going to stop.We aren’t buying it this time-you get it ?! The leaked documents totally prove it was a set up.Ive seen them myself.Ive seen the videos showing the rebels firing sarin gas.How is I have better in-tell than my own government ? Russia and China walked out of the U.N. today and I’m sure they’re on the phone telling they’re people to gear up for the ugly situation yet to come.Meanwhile back at home you’ve got a storm cloud brewing for you and your boss and both parties that have pushed us into yet another war we the people didn’t want .You can vote on this crap all you like.The fact is there is going to be a coupe here at home once the missiles start flying.Go ahead and play the game of brinksmanship and see what it will get you.Of course I’m sure you and your friends have a nice cushy bunker equipped for years of luxury at our expense.When your friends who have flushed our people down the drain and sold us out to the lowest bidder come up for air,there will be a greeting party.Revolution 2.0 is coming.

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