KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said here Sunday that the United States would continue intelligence assessment before making decision on potential military intervention in Syria.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein, Hagel said the U.S. and its allies would continue to assess the intelligence on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. "I wouldn't go any further than that until we have more intelligence based on facts," he said.
Hagel said the Defense Department had prepared options for all contingencies as requested by U.S. President Barack Obama. "We are prepared to exercise whatever options" that Obama decides to employ, he added.
Hagel said he had a "very productive and positive" meeting with Hishammuddin, during which the two discussed a range of security issues.
"The U.S. is committed to continuing to assist Malaysia's military, as it increases its capability in areas like humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, peace keeping, maritime security and counter terrorism," he said.
The United States would conduct more than 75 activities, exchanges and visits with the Malaysian military this year. "All designed to boost its capability, and help it become a more professional and flexible force," he added.
The two also touched on future areas of cooperation, such as expanding defence trade and technology collaboration as well as information sharing.
Hagel is on a week-long trip to Southeast Asia, during which he will also visit Indonesia, the Philippines and attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting in Brunei.
In a speech at the Malaysian Defence Ministry in which he outlined the U.S. polices on Southeast Asia later Sunday, Hagel said he would focus on cyber security and maritime security during the upcoming defence ministers' meeting.