Washington is pressing Germany to send troops to northern Syria

The United States on Sunday asked Germany to provide ground forces to fight terrorism in northern Syria, sparking differences within the fragile coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We want Germany to make ground troops to replace some of our soldiers," said James Jeffrey, the US special envoy to Syria, in the German newspaper Die Welt.

Jeffrey visited Berlin on Friday for talks on the issue. He said he was waiting for a response in July, stressing the pressure on Berlin, which is facing US criticism of its low level of defense spending.

US President Donald Trump announced the end of 2018 withdrawing the bulk of the American forces deployed in the north-east of Syria and some about two thousand soldiers, stressing the total victory over the organization of the Islamic state, "urged."

But he later changed his mind and agreed to slow down the withdrawal, leaving a few hundred soldiers in the area beyond the control of the Syrian regime, who are demanding support from allied forces.

Jeffrey said Washington was looking "here (in Germany) and other partners in the international coalition against the organization of the Islamic state, which includes 80 countries, for" volunteers willing to participate. "

"We think we will do it."

This task has the dual goal of not giving up the Kurds who fought on the ground against the organization of the Islamic state with the support of the coalition but threatened by Turkey, and continuing counterterrorism efforts to prevent the return of the Islamic organization.

Washington is counting on Europe to do so - Britain, France and now Germany, whose participation in the coalition against the Islamic state is limited to Tornado reconnaissance planes, an air refueling aircraft and trainers in Iraq.

But the issue of the deployment of soldiers on the ground is very sensitive in Germany, which is strongly adhering to its peaceful culture because of its Nazi past, which did not allow soldiers to be sent to areas of conflict abroad until 1994.

An argument broke out immediately within Merkel's fragile coalition.

Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CSU) said it was ready to discuss the issue, mainly in support of Germany's increased military presence in conflict zones.

Deputy Speaker of the Parliamentary Bloc, Johann Fadibol, said the US demand should not be "automatically rejected".

On the other hand, his Social Democratic partner refused to call the United States and wrote a leader of the Social Democratic Union Thorsten Schaffer Gumpel on Twitter "There will be no presence of German ground forces in Syria."

This demand is compounded by Trump's harsh criticism of Germany.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called on the US president not to treat Germany as a "dependent" state. "We are not a banana republic here," he told the Handelsblatt newspaper.


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