Greens: Send German ground troops to Syria
UPDATE: Germany’s Green Party wants to see German troops on the ground fighting Isis in the Middle East as part of a UN mission – something the Foreign Minister ruled out on Monday. It comes as Isis claim a German was among the suicide bombers who attacked Kurds on Sunday.
The Greens' parliamentary leader, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Monday that Germany had to push the UN for a mandate to intervene against Islamic extremists in Syria.
“Isis can only be beaten militarily,” she said, adding that Germany “must be prepared to deploy the Bundeswehr in an operation.”
“We need a joint strategy,” she said. “If that means we need to act on the ground then we would support that.”
The world has watched as the Kurdish town of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border has been attacked by Islamic extremists Isis. But Göring-Eckardt said the idea that Germany and Europe were not already part of the conflict in the Middle East was naive.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier responded to the Greens’ call by once again ruling out German troops being sent to Syria.
“It is easy to call for that in Germany when you know that you’ll never get a mandate for it,” he said on Monday during a visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss ways of fighting Isis.
He pointed out that other Nato countries had also ruled out sending troops to Syria.
Germany’s contribution to the fight against Isis has focused on providing weapons and training to Kurds in northern Iraq fighting the militants.
Isis claim a German convert to Islam was one of three suicide bombers who killed himself and dozens of Kurds on Sunday. But the jihadists had claimed the alleged suicide bomber, Robert Baum, also blew himself up in January.
Dead or not, there has been little mention of Baum since December last year after he reportedly travelled to Syria and took the name Abu Sara al-Almani.
A native of Solingen, North Rhine-Westphalia, which is a hotbed for Germany Salafists, Baum converted to Islam in 2009.
He was arrested in the UK in 2011 and imprisoned for 12 months for possessing al-Qaeda propaganda and instructions on how to build a bomb. After six months he was sent back to Germany. A year later he travelled to Egypt and then on to Syria.
On Sunday three foreign suicide bombers – a German, a Saudi and a Turk – carried out attacks on Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq, according to the SITE group which monitors Isis and jihad postings.
The attacks killed 28 people and injured 90.
SEE ALSO: Thousands of Kurds protest against Isis