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Sat Aug 24, 2013, 07:14 AM

U.S. repositions naval forces, no decision on Syria strike

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/08/24/uk-syria-crisis-idUKBRE97K0AJ20130824

(Reuters) - The United States on Friday was repositioning naval forces in the Mediterranean to give President Barack Obama the option for an armed strike on Syria, although officials cautioned that Obama had made no decision on military action.

A defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. Navy would expand its presence in the Mediterranean to four destroyers from three.

Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, en route to Asia, said Obama had asked the Pentagon for options on Syria, where an apparent chemical weapons attack that killed as many as 1,000 civilians has upped pressure on Washington to respond.

"The Defence Department has responsibility to provide the president with options for all contingencies," Hagel said. "And that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options - whatever options the president might choose." He did not elaborate

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