The U.S Special Representative for
engagement in Syria and the anti-ISIS coalition, James Jeffrey asked Germany to
send ground troops to Syria.
“We want ground forces from Germany
to partially replace our soldiers,” he told the German press agency and Welt am
He urged Merkel’s government to
support the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) by sending trainers,
logisticians and Bundeswehr technical assistants.
Jeffrey was in Berlin on Friday on a
mission to draw pledges of military and financial support from Merkel.
“We are looking for volunteers who
want to take part here and among other coalition partners,” Jeffrey told the
German news outlets. He did not specify specific numbers for the soldiers
Jeffrey’s proposal left Merkel’s
Deputy caucus chief of Merkel’s
Christian Democratic-led party bloc and Christian Social Union (CSU), Johann
Wadephul has called on Berlin to consider Jeffrey’s request.
Wadephul stated that the request
should not be “rejected in a knee-jerk reaction”.
“In this region, it’s about our
security and not American security,” he said.
Fritz Felgentreu, a senior Social
Democratic lawmaker told reporters that Germany can’t deploy soldiers to Syria
for legal reasons.
Last year, Trump claimed victory over
ISIS and ordered the pull out of all 2 000 American soldiers from Syria.
However, Trump later agreed to retain
400 US troops in the country after military officials and Congress declared the
withdrawal as premature.
The remaining soldiers are stationed
in northeastern Syria, an area that does not fall under President Bashar
Washington aims to protect the
U.S-backed Kurdish forces who are vulnerable to attacks from Turkey and prevent
the resurgence of ISIS in the war torn region. The U.S is hoping that Europe
will help push Germany to provide support.
Trump has repeatedly urged
Berlin to allocate more funds on defense. Last month, he called out Germany for
being delinquent on its contributions to NATO.