U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told BBC that the U.S. Military is ready to launch a strike in Syria. U.S. armed forces are just waiting for a green signal from President Barack Obama. Mr. Hagel said that the armed forces have moved assets strategically to comply and fulfill any option President Obama wants to take. Chuck Hagel is confident that the ongoing U.N. investigation will confirm that the Assad-led Syrian government conducted the chemical attack that killed more than 1,300 people on August 21.
Syria blames rebels for chemical attack
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's statement comes a day after Secretary of State John Kerry said that there is "undeniable" evidence that Syria used deadly chemical weapons last week. Officials in the Obama Administration have said that the international community must respond to such a heinous act. Officials have also indicated that they are unlikely to wait for the completion of the United Nations investigation. Two officials told Fox News that there will soon be an official announcement on President Obama's response.
The Syrian government has blamed the rebels for the chemical attack near Damascus. But John Kerry directly pointed a finger at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Secretary of State called the chemical attack a "moral obscenity" and said that the Assad regime is trying to destroy evidence.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallim said that the Syrian army will continue to fight rebels despite the possibility of international military strikes. Al-Muallim said yesterday that foreign strikes will only help terrorist groups linked with Al Qaeda. Allies of Syria, China and Russia have issued a stern warning against military intervention. Russia said that a military strike will have catastrophic consequences.
US warships positioned near Syria
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday criticized the chemical attacks, saying that the U.K. is considering "proportionate response." The United States is currently seeking support from its allies before choosing a course of action. President Obama has already spoken to British and French leaders. However, British Prime Minister David Cameron will have to win Parliament's approval before taking a military action.
Though the final decision is yet to be taken, four U.S. Navy warships have already been positioned in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Each warship has 90 Tomahawk missiles. Four destroyers have also taken up position, and can launch an attack at a moment's notice.