GOOD TO GO!

We’re ready to take out As­sad, says U.S. chief

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By NEIL GOOD­WIN

THE United States is “ready to go” if the de­ci­sion is made to in­ter­vene mil­i­tar­ily in Syria, U.S. De­fence Sec­re­tary Chuck Hagel has said.

Mr Hagel said it was “clearer and clearer the Syr­ian govern­ment, headed by Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad ( right), was re­spon­si­ble” for chem­i­cal at­tacks in the suburbs of the cap­i­tal Da­m­as­cus last week. He said the U.S. and its al­lies were work­ing with the United Na­tions on Syria and that a range of op­tions were avail­able.

Mr Hagel said: “I think it is pretty clear chem­i­cal weapons were used against peo­ple in Syria. I think the in­tel­li­gence will con­clude it was not the rebels who used it.

“The deeper we get into this, it is be­com­ing clearer and clearer the govern­ment of Syria was re­spon­si­ble.

“I think in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian stan­dards are pretty im­por­tant. We work through in­ter­na­tional bod­ies. No na­tion or group of na­tions is bound by only one di­men­sion of whether they make a de­ci­sion to re­spond to any vi­o­la­tion of the kind of hu­man­i­tar­ian vi­o­la­tion we saw in Syria.

“We are work­ing with the United Na­tions, our part­ners are work­ing with them and that’s ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.

“There are a dif­fer­ent range of op­tions – suf­fice to say that the op­tions are there and the United States Depart­ment of De­fence is ready to carry out those op­tions. If that were to oc­cur, it would oc­cur also in co­or­di­na­tion with our in­ter­na­tional part­ners.

“As I’ve said... let’s get the facts, let’s get the in­tel­li­gence, then a de­ci­sion will be made if ac­tion should be taken, what ac­tion should be taken, or no ac­tion.

“We are ready to go.”

CLEARER: Chuck Hagel

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