US repositions naval forces, no decision on Syria strike
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States was repositioning naval forces in the Mediterranean to give President Barack Obama the option for an armed strike on Syria, although officials cautioned that Mr Obama had made no decision on military action.
A defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that the US Navy would expand its presence in the Mediterranean to four destroyers from three.
Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, enroute to Asia, said Mr 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," Mr Hagel said.