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Obama: US could arm Syrian rebels, 'we're going to look at all options'

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But the president said the administration wanted "to evaluate and make sure every step we take advances the day [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is gone" while ensuring a stable transition of power.

"We want to make sure we look before we leap and that what we do is actually helpful to the situation," Obama said.

At a press conference at the Pentagon, Hagel said no decisions have been made, but confirmed reports that the administration is considering taking the new step of arming Syrian rebels in the wake of the possible use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

“You look and rethink all options. It doesn’t mean you do, or you will,” Hagel said.

Obama said at a press conference Tuesday that confirmation Assad’s regime has crossed his “red line” would prompt him to consider a “range of options” that have not yet been used. The president reiterated Thursday that the investigation to confirm the use of chemical weapons was ongoing.

Hagel emphasized Thursday that the situation is not a static one and would not say whether he personally supported providing arms to the rebels.

“I’m in favor of exploring options and seeing what is the best option,” Hagel said.

For more on Obama's remarks, click here.