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Germany may shift to direct combat in Syria

11 December 2015 23:10


The German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has raised the possibility of Berlin’s direct involvement in the so-called fight against Daesh in Syria, saying such scenario would come if current political and military efforts against the Takfiri group fail.

Gabriel said in address to members of his Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) on Friday that he would spare no effort in facilitating the presence of German troops on the ground in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East if a current mandate for the contribution of Germany to the anti-Daesh fight is to be replaced with one for a broader involvement in the battle.

The German parliament, Bundestag, last Friday approved a plan by Chancellor Angela Merkel to send six reconnaissance jets, a frigate and 1,200 troops to Syria to help the so-called international coalition against Daesh. The reinforced deployment comes against the opposition of Damascus which has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of the US-led airstrikes.

“As much as the statement is correct that conquering IS (Daesh) cannot be done just by military actions … it is correct that every political solution will be too late when IS (Daesh) seize the country (Syria) and creates a terror state for real,” said Gabriel in the capital Berlin.
“I promise you one thing: Should the mandate, that was decided last week by the Bundestag, be changed and demand direct participation of Germany in combat, or troops on the ground in Syria or the region, then I, …, will ask the members of the SPD,” he said, adding, “If we don’t ask you about war and peace, when then, my dear comrades?”

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