Obama receives ‘detailed review’ of options on Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama walks from Marine One as he returns to the White House in Washington August 23, 2013. President Obama called the apparent gassing of hundreds of Syrian civilians a “big event of grave concern.” (Reuters)

U.S. President Barack Obama received a “detailed review of a range of potential options” from his top advisers on Saturday on how Washington and its allies could respond to an alleged chemical weapons attack on Damascus by the Syrian government, Reuters reported the White House as saying.

Obama also spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron about Syria and agreed to consult about “potential responses by the international community,” the White House said.

But the White House did not provide details about what options were under consideration and gave no indication about Obama’s timeline for making a decision on the issue.

Supporters of U.S. intervention in Syria have championed a no-fly zone as one of the main options in the conflict-stricken country.

The White House statement came after U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel suggested on Friday that the Pentagon could be moving forces into place ahead of possible military action against Syria, following mounting international concern over alleged chemical warfare in the country.

En-route to Malaysia, Hagel told reporters the U.S. was re-positioning naval forces and assets in anticipation of any decision by President Barack Obama to order military action on Syria.

“The Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for all contingencies,” Hagel said, according to AFP.

“And that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets to be able to carry out different options -- whatever the president might choose.”

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Last Update: Sunday, 25 August 2013 KSA 00:45 - GMT 21:45
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