Berlin 's refusal to send ground troops to Syria Politics and Economy -

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A German government rejected a US request to send ground troops to northern Syria in the context of the war on the "Islamic state". The rejection came on the lips of government spokesman Stephan Zeibert on Monday (July 9, 2019). "When I say that the German government intends to continue its participation in the coalition against the organization of the Islamic state, as we know, it does not include ground forces," Zeibert said during a regular media briefing.

"We are looking here (in Germany) and other coalition partners," he said after Washington asked Berlin via US Special Representative to Syria James Jeffrey, who held talks with German officials at the German Foreign Ministry, to provide ground troops. ) About volunteers willing to engage "in the process. The US official made it clear that his country does not think primarily of combat troops, but rather provides logistical support, training and technical assistance.

In principle, the American and German sides agree that Germany should continue to participate in the war on the organization of the "Islamic state". "The challenge posed by the so-called Islamic state has not yet disappeared," Zeibert said, adding that the two sides were now discussing how compliance should continue in the region.

Different positions

The American demand has stirred controversy within the ruling coalition, even within the Christian coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. While some parties to the Christian Union, made up of the Christian Democratic Party and the Christian Social Party (Bavarian), were open to the matter, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), a partner in the ruling coalition, refused to go into the matter. The head of the Christian Union bloc in the Foreign Relations Committee of the Bundestag (Bundestag), Rudrz Kiester, believes it is prudent to assess interests and risks. "The legal framework, the partners, the target, the financial costs and the duration of any possible dispatch must be studied," the German politician said in an interview with -. "I do not see any reason for the initial refusal to welcome or welcome the ground troops.

But the head of the Christian Alliance's parliamentary bloc, Ralph Brinkhouse, expressed skepticism about the new US demand. In addition, we do not have a majority in favor of this in parliament, "Princahos said Monday in Berlin ahead of the start of the meeting of the Christian Democrats 'Christian Democrats' presidency.

In contrast, the Social Democratic Party raised the pressure to end the participation of their troops in the war on the organization. The head of the party's parliamentary bloc, Rolf Motsnich, stressed Monday his party's demand that the German reconnaissance planes "Tornado" and the refueling aircraft of the international coalition against "Da'ash" be closed by October 31.

The interim president of the Social Democratic Party, Torsten Schaeffer-Gumpel, clearly declared his rejection of the request of the United States. The Green Party, the Free Democratic Party and the leftist party also called on the government to declare a clear rejection of Washington's request.

Von der Leyen besucht Bundeswehr in Jordanien (picture-alliance / dpa / M. Kappeler)

Non-combat mission

The parliamentary mandate for German participation in Syria ends at the end of October 2019. Parliament must then decide the future of this participation. The German contribution to the coalition is mainly in aerial reconnaissance and training for Iraqi forces. According to a spokesman for the German Ministry of Defense, four German aircraft based in Jordan, and preceded by Turkey, about 2000 reconnaissance flights. German aircraft also supplied fighter jets with air-to-air missiles.

US President Donald Trump announced the end of 2018 withdrawing the largest number of about two thousand US troops deployed in northeastern Syria, declaring a complete victory on the organization of "Islamic state." He was then persuaded to slow down the pullout and leave a few hundred American soldiers in this area beyond the control of the Syrian government, but wants to be supported by allied forces.

"Requirement" The political solution

German parliamentarian for the Liberal Democratic Party, Alexander Graf Lambsdorf, told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that "we should not discuss the participation of German ground forces in Syria, as long as a political solution is not reached." So the solution. Europe is pushing for constitutional reform in Syria, which Assad does not want and resist.

The German politician noted that the German army's involvement would be a political engagement. The German army would support the Assad government at least indirectly, pointing out that it has been ruthless for years against its opponents and not even civilians, according to Alexander Graf Lambedsdorf.

According to an Amnesty International report, the Assad government used a combination of "illegal tactics, including prohibited weapons, indiscriminate strikes and restricted access to relief aid to those in need." The report pointed out that these tactics were an attempt by the government to force its enemies to surrender and led to mass displacements.

Kirsten Kneib / Khaled Salama

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