International AffairsMilitary

Germany rebuffs US request for ground troops in Syria to fight ISIS

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

A German soldier, deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, scans the ground in search of a reported unexploded ordinance in Erbil, Iraq, Feb. 13, 2018.

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-IS 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 says Germany favors continuing its existing coalition functions and “it’s known that this doesn’t include ground troops.”

Seibert says 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.


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