Some US allies, including the United Kingdom and Germany, have refused to join Washington’s planned military campaign against ISIL terrorists in war-ravaged Syria.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his British counterpart, Philip Hammond, said during a meeting in Berlin on Thursday that their respective countries will not take part in any US airstrikes in Syria.
“Let me be clear, Britain will not be taking part in any airstrikes in Syria. I can be very clear about that,” Hammond said.
Moreover, Steinmeier underlined Berlin’s view, reaffirming that “nobody asked us to participate and we will not participate.”
The statements come a day after US President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes in Syria for the first time.
Meanwhile, Turkey said it will not allow any US-led coalition to use its bases to attack ISIL militants in neighboring Iraq and Syria.
A Turkish official said Ankara has rejected to take part in any combat operations against the ISIL terrorists but will continue to provide humanitarian support.
The ISIL terrorists control large swathes of Syria’s northern territory. The group sent its members into neighboring Iraq in June and seized large parts of land there in a lightning advance.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. The Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
More than 191,000 people have been killed in over three years of fighting in the war-ravaged country, says the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), calling the figure a probable “underestimate of the real total number of people killed.”