Germany rules out cooperation with Assad in fight against Daesh

ANADOLU AGENCY
BERLIN
Published 30.11.2015 17:21

Germany has ruled out any cooperation with the forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime in the fight against Daesh, days after it announced plans for a more active military role in Syria.

A German Defense Ministry spokesman told reporters Monday that Germany's call for a broader alliance against Daesh and closer cooperation among the actors in the region did not involve the forces of the Assad regime.

"There will be no cooperation with Assad, and there will be no cooperation with the forces which operate under the command of Assad," the Defense Ministry spokesman, Jens Flosdorff, said at a press conference in Berlin.

His remarks followed speculation in German media in recent days that the German government was considering involving Syrian regime forces in the international coalition against Daesh.

Deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said Monday that Germany supported the formation of a transitional government in Syria through the Vienna talks for a political solution, and also believes that a total collapse of state structures in Syria should be prevented.

"For the German government, Assad himself cannot be part of a long-term political solution in Syria," she said at a regular press conference.

Faced with a high refugee influx due to the Syrian conflict and the involvement of Daesh, the German government has stepped up its diplomatic efforts in recent months for a political solution in Syria.

After the terrorist attacks in Paris, Germany has also decided to take a more active military role in Syria, by sending reconnaissance jets, a tanker aircraft and a warship to the region, to support France in airstrikes against Daesh.

The Defense Ministry spokesman said Monday that military advisors have recommended sending up to 1,200 military personnel as part of the planned mission, but underlined that no final decisions had been taken as of yet.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet is expected to decide on the details of the mission Tuesday.

German public television ARD reported that the annual cost of the mission is expected to be around 134 million ($142 million).

So far, Germany has refrained from an active military role in airstrikes against Daesh but focused on training Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq, which have recently cleared several areas of Daesh in Iraq, including the town of Sinjar near Mosul.

The recent decision of the German government to provide military support for France requires an approval by the parliament. But its decision looks assured as Merkel's coalition partners enjoy an overwhelming parliamentary majority.

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