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Germany rebuffs US request for ground troops in Syria

A Syrian Democratic Forces soldier fires a Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle during weapons training at a range in Deir ez-Zor province, Syria, Nov. 29, 2018.

ARGENIS NUNEZ/U.S. ARMY

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: July 8, 2019

BERLIN — A government spokesman says Germany isn't considering sending ground troops to Syria as part of its contribution to fighting the Islamic State group.

German media reported over the weekend that the U.S. envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, asked the German government last week to contribute ground troops to the anti-ISIS coalition led by the United States.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday that "Germany has for years made a considerable and internationally recognized contribution" to the coalition that includes training Iraqi troops, doing aerial reconnaissance and refueling allied aircraft.

He said Germany favors continuing its existing coalition functions and "it's known that this doesn't include ground troops."

Seibert said Berlin is discussing with allies the future military and civilian efforts needed to stabilize the region and how the responsibilities will be divided among participating countries.

Jeffrey's request would have involved Germany sending logistical experts, training forces and technical workers to northeastern Syria to support the Syrian Democratic Forces, according to the dpa.

“We want ground troops from Germany to partly replace our soldiers,” Jeffrey told dpa and the German weekly Welt am Sonntag.


 

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