Those in the US administration who do not want to see the war in Syria come to a close, have come up with an original way to withdraw their troops from Syria – to replace them with troops of other NATO allies, in particular, Germany.
Germany, however, has wisely turned down Washington’s requestin this respect, describing the proposal as inconsistent with Berlin’s “well known” policy.
According to several media outlets, both the UK and France have accepted the US request and will increase their military presence in Syria, although there presence in the country is illegal as they have neither the consent of Damascus nor a UN Security Council authorization.
US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey confirmed on Sunday that he had asked the German government to provide troops to replace a portion of US forces currently stationed in Syria. He said the request was part of Washington’s preparations for an eventual US military withdrawal in the country.
Berlin didn’t wait long before issuing a curt “nein” to its transatlantic ally, media outlets reported.“When I say the government envisages sticking to the current measures in the anti-ISIS coalition, this includes no ground troops, as is well known,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said during a news conference on Monday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel assured the public in May last year that the Bundeswehr (German Military) “will not participate in possible military actions.”
We are not a Banana Republic – Schroeder
The US request had stirred sharp controversy within the current government coalition headed by Chancellor Merkel, in view of its potential repercussions. Germany, in general, is very wary of getting involved in any military conflict outside its borders. However, some prominent politicians from the Christian Democratic Party have expressed preparedness to discuss the matter as they support more German military presence in conflict areas. Meanwhile, the proposal was outright rejected by the Social Democrats (SPD), a prominent member of which tweeted: “ We shall not allow the deployment of German ground troops to Syria”.
The strongest rejection was voiced by the former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder who maintained that Berlin should not allow Trump to treat Germany as a vassal state. He told the German Handelsblattnewspaper : “We are not a banana Republic here”.
News agencies and media outlet said that Washington has asked Germany to support its war operations in Syria under the pretext of fighting ISIS remnants by lending support to a US-backed and mainly Kurdish militia known as “SDF”.
The German News Agency DPA, the German weekly “Welt am Sonntag”and “Die Welt” quoted James Jeffery as saying that the United States wants Germany to send training troops, logistics experts and technicians. Such a request was viewed by many observers as a bid to increase pressure on Berlin to “spend more” on the US-led military endeavor. He told reporters that he expects an answer by the end of this month. But Germany did not wait for the end of the month. Berlin has swiftly announced rejection of the demand. Since the end of the Second World War, Germany has always been wary of deploying troops outside its borders. The issue gets more worrisome and controversial in the Syrian war. Among many other factors, it is not in the interest of Germany to see the Syrian crisis aggravated. To the contrary, it is much better for Germany to see Syria stabilized and law and order restored so that no further refugees would flock out of the country. Turkey has previously manipulated the “refugee” card to blackmail Germany and the latter would not like something like this be repeated.
Last October, the US President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw all of the some 2,000 US troops deployed to north-eastern Syria, only to reverse the decision and say that some 400 personnel members are going to stay to help in what he termed “stabilizing the Kurdish area” along the Syrian-Iraqi borders, while in fact, they stoke further troubles, warring and devastation.
Latest reports say that both Britain and France have agreed to Washington’s demand and will increase their illegal military presence in Syria. A plethora of US-led military forces have been operating in Syria without the consent of Damascus or UN authorization. Such operations are not only illegal, but have inflicted severe damage to the Syrian infrastructure and claimed so many civilian Syrian lives, especially in Raqqa.
Damascus has repeatedly demanded all these forces to leave and have always considered their presence as a sort of occupation.
The source: News Agencies and media outlets