BERLING – The German government refused to send ground troops to Syria. On July 8th, Berlin rejected the corresponding appeal of the United States, voiced the day before, to send troops to Syria. German authorities plan to continue their participation in the US-led coalition to combat the terrorist group Daesh (ISIS), but the current mandate of the Bundeswehr does not include sending ground troops to Syria. This was announced on Monday by the official representative of the federal government Steffen Seibert , reports Deutsche Welle.
According to him, in the near future the members of the American coalition will hold consultations and take decisions on further steps. At the same time, there are both military and civilian components in the fight against IS, and they should be reasonably distributed among the coalition participants, Seibert said the official position of Berlin.
The Bundestag also did not support Washington’s call to send ground troops to Syria.
“In this matter I am very, very critical. In addition, we will not have a majority in the Bundestag to vote for such a decision, ”said the head of the conservative CDU / CSU faction in the ruling coalition, Ralph Brinkhaus.
And about. Social Democrats chairman of the faction (included in the ruling coalition) Torsten Shefer-Gümbel also rejected the US demand. The Greens, liberals and leftists called on the government of Angela Merkel to give a clear refusal to Washington.
Earlier, US Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, called on Germany to send the German military to Syria.
“We want the German ground forces to partially replace the American military in the region,” he said in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper and the DPA news agency published on July 7th.
According to Jeffrey, the involvement of German soldiers in combat operations in Syria is not the main goal, since “against the militants of the IS it is better to use the forces of the local military.” However, the Bundeswehr could help the allies in the field of logistics, training local soldiers and in the field of technical services, as well as provide support for ground troops from the air, the American diplomat said.
At the moment, the Bundeswehr is involved in the fight against the IS in Syria, conducting aerial reconnaissance from the territory of Jordan. The corresponding mandate of the Bundeswehr expires on October 31st. According to Seibert, Berlin intends to extend this mission.
Recall that in late 2018, US President Donald Trump announced the beginning of the complete withdrawal of American troops from Syria. However, in the future, the original plans of the American leader were adjusted – it was decided to leave for an indefinite time in the Arab Republic about 400 American soldiers from 2,200 who were there in December last year.