‘Nein’: Germany Rejects U.S. Call for Syria Ground Troops

German soldiers stand to attention during a torchlit procession to bid farewell to NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) US Admiral James Stavridis at the defence ministry in Berlin April 17, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty

Germany has rejected outright a U.S. request to join its forces on the ground in Syria in the fight against Islamic State.

On Friday, the U.S. had called for Germany to send ground troops into Syria to stand by its NATO allies.

“We want ground troops from Germany to partly replace our soldiers in the area as part of the anti-Islamic State coalition,” U.S. special representative on Syria James Jeffrey told German media including the Die Welt newspaper.

Now that request has been firmly rejected, Deutsche Welle reports.

German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said on Monday Germany would not increase its military presence in the country as it believes it is providing adequate support already to its NATO ally,

“When I say that the government intends to continue with its ongoing measures in the framework of the anti-IS coalition, then that means no ground troops,” Seibert said.

Germany has “for years been making a significant and internationally acknowledged contribution” to fighting Islamic State, Seibert added.

The German military currently provides reconnaissance jets, a refueling aircraft and other non-combat military assistance in the fight against Islamic State.

Donald Trump has repeatedly urged Berlin to increase its defence spending, last month calling Germany “delinquent” over its contributions to NATO’s budget, and now the push is on for it to contribute more to global security.

In 2018 Washington spent nearly $700 billion on defence, compared with just $280 billion for all the European NATO allies combined.

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