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Hagel: US forces ready to strike Syria if ordered

By ROBERT BURNS
AP National Security Writer

syriaBANDER SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says U.S. forces are now ready to act on any order by President Barack Obama to strike Syria.

The U.S. Navy has four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea within range of targets inside Syria. The U.S. also has warplanes in the region.

In an interview Tuesday with BBC television during a visit to the southeast Asian nation of Brunei, Hagel also predicted that U.S. intelligence agencies would soon conclude that last week’s deadly attack on civilians in a Damascus suburb was a chemical attack by the government.

He called it “pretty good intelligence.”


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