US aligns naval forces as it mulls military action

Syrian state television said soldiers found chemical weapons on Saturday in tunnels that had been used by rebels, deflecting blame for a nerve gas attack that killed hundreds this week and heightened Western calls for foreign intervention.
The United States said it was realigning naval forces in the Mediterr-anean to give President Barack Obama the option of attacking Syria, and a senior UN official arrived in Damascus to seek access for inspectors to the gas attack site.
Opposition accounts that between 500 and well over 1,000 civilians were killed by gas fired by pro-government forces, and video footage of victims’ bodies, have stoked demands abroad for a robust, US-led response after 2-1/2 years of international inaction on a conflict that has killed 100,000.
In a development that could raise pressure on Mr Obama to act, American and European security sources said US and allied intelligence agencies had made a preliminary assessment that chemical weapons were used by pro-Assad forces this week.

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