Germany rules out joining strike on Syria

August 31, 2013

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert

Germany has ruled out taking part in any possible military action against Syria over alleged chemical weapons attacks in the Arab country.

“We have not considered it and we are not considering a military strike,” said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Friday, condemning chemical weapons use.

Elsewhere in his remarks Seibert said, “I don’t want to speculate here on what the correct clear international answer to this crime should or can be,” and added, “The U.N. Security Council has to consider this.”

On the same day, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also stated that such military action had “neither been asked nor is it being considered by us.”

Westerwelle’s also said, “We are pushing for the United Nations Security Council to find a common position and for the work of UN inspectors to be finished as quickly as possible.”

On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the developments in Syria during a telephone conversation.

“In particular, it is important that the Security Council examines a report by UN inspectors about possible facts of the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” the Kremlin said in a statement after the conversation.

Seibert also said that during her talk with Putin, Merkel had emphasized that discussions at the UN Security Council should result in a “unanimous and quick international reaction.”

The rhetoric of war against Syria primarily intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

The United States was quick to engage in a major publicity campaign to promote war against Syria despite the fact that Damascus categorically rejected the claim that it has been behind the attack.

On Tuesday, August 27, speculations became stronger about the possibility of a military attack on Syria. Media outlets reported US plans for likely surgical attacks, which would be in the form of “cruise-missile strikes,” and “could rely on … US destroyers in the Mediterranean [Sea].” The plan was said to be awaiting US President Barack Obama’s go-ahead.

On Wednesday, however, the British government announced that its support for military intervention in Syria would require a second vote in the country’s parliament. A first non-binding vote in the British legislature on August 29 rejected a British role in a potential war on Syria.

On Friday, August 30, NATO also distanced itself from participating in any military intervention in Syria, with the chief of the Western military coalition, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, saying he did not “foresee any NATO role” in an international war on Syria.

Nevertheless, Washington has remained defiant, saying that it is willing to go ahead with its plans for a strike on Syria without the approval of the United Nations or even the support of its allies.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

Iran, Russia, and China, as well as the United Nations, have warned against war.


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