US Defense Secretary Discusses Syria with German Defense Minister

US Defense Secretary Discusses Syria With German Defense Minister

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere to discuss the ongoing violence in Syria, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

Hagel is in Brunei, where he is attending a meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations defense ministers.

In a statement summarizing the call, Little said Hagel pledged to continue consultations with de Maiziere on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

“They discussed the need for the international community to consider responses to this tragic development in Syria,” the press secretary said, “and noted that the use of chemical weapons violates core tenets of international law.”

In an interview two days ago with “BBC World News,” Hagel said most U.S. allies, most U.S. partners and most of the international community have little doubt that the most basic international humanitarian standard was violated by the Syrian regime in using chemical weapons against its own people.

“The deeper we get into this, it seems to me it’s clearer and clearer that the government of Syria was responsible,” he added.

The secretary also said the Defense Department has complied with President Barack Obama’s request for options.

“We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take,” he said. “We are ready to go.”

Press Release, August 29, 2013; Image: US Navy