Washington wants German troops in Syria to help fill gap left by departing Americans

The US wants Germany to ship troops to Syria to partially backfill the diminishing American presence there – regardless that Berlin guidelines out any intervention in that conflict and Damascus sees Western forces there as “invaders.”

Washington has formally requested Berlin to take its place in the Syrian battle, changing a sure portion of the US contingent, Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey instructed Die Welt’s Sunday edition and DPA information company, including that he awaits a response from the German authorities this month. He mentioned the request instantly associated to the ongoing US drawdown on Syrian soil.

Washington is at the moment reaching out to coalition members which are in opposition to Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS) and are prepared to ship army personnel to Syria, the diplomat defined. He then sang Germany’s praises, calling the nation an necessary associate in the battle in opposition to IS that’s in a position to throw its weight behind the US.

Jeffrey didn’t ask for a selected variety of troops, solely making it clear that German personnel wouldn’t have to take direct half in hostilities. A German contribution may take kinds corresponding to offering air help, logistics, coaching, and technical help, the diplomat hinted.

Berlin joined the US-led anti-IS marketing campaign in 2015, however stopped simply in need of sending boots on the bottom. Their contribution was restricted to offering air reconnaissance and in-flight refueling for different Western nations’ flying sorties in Iraq and Syria. Separately, German Navy ships noticed occasional deployments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Germany has typically been cautious of a direct intervention in the Syrian disaster. In May of final yr, Chancellor Angela Merkel assured the general public that the Bundeswehr “will not participate in possible military actions” though it’s prepared to help different allies. Over time, that stance has not modified a lot.

However, the US continued to pile strain on Germany by yr’s finish, tasking Ambassador Jeffrey – a fluent German speaker and a profession State Department official – with securing Berlin’s consent to have interaction in the Syrian conflict. 

Last month, he mentioned that a number of coalition members will quickly announce their choices to backfill US floor troops leaving Syria. “There’s something pending to look forward to. Very pending,” he instructed Defense One.

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