In a surprise move Germany left the anti-Putin-alliance formed by the USA: Germany is now officially welcoming Moscow’s readiness to act in Syria and is starting an initiative together with the Russians and the French to bring an end to the war. This is to stop the constant stream of refugees. Germany has ordered thousands of soldiers into readiness.
(This article originally appeared at DAWN, translated by Frank Jakob exclusively for SouthFront.)
Germany surprisingly left the alliance formed together with the United States which intended to block Russia’s entry into the Syrian conflict.
Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen told Der Spiegel that she welcomed president Putin’s intentions of joining the fight against the extremist organization “Islamic State”. It would be a matter of mutual interests, she said.
A speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added, Germany would welcome additional efforts of Russia in the fight against ISIS. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier even announced the starting of a joint venture between him, Russian foreign minister Lavrov and their French colleague Laurent Fabius with the aim of bringing the Syrian civil war to an end. Lavrov and Fabius are expected to arrive in Berlin this Saturday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called upon the US-Ministry of Defence to coordinate their efforts with the Russian military. Because both sides are actively invested in Syria it would be paramount for the US to reinstate the previously ceased operational cooperation with Russia, said Lavrov on Friday in Moscow. This was intended to avoid “unintentional incidents”.
Russia’s military drills in the Mediterranean would be in accordance to international law. Larvrov explained furthermore, that Russia would keep delivering weapons to the troops of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to support their struggle against the extremist organization of Islamic State (IS).
Russia already began a diplomatic offensive weeks ago. The Americans did not precisely indicate whether they would support the Russian initiative. Under no circumstances would the US give Russia credit for solving the deadlocked situation, should Russia in fact be successful. Therefore the US-government warned precautionary of a worsening in the refugee crisis should Russia intervene.
Neoconservatives are issuing warnings about any cooperation with Russia in whatever matter. US-President Obama did not clearly state whether the Russian initiative was done in coordination with the White House. Foreign Minister John Kerry went on a surprise visit to Russia in spring which, however, remained without results regarding the Syrian matter. It is likely that the US-government changed their mind in the face of the worsening of the refugee crisis so that they are now willing to cooperate with Russia in the Middle East.
German Frank-Walther Steinmeier has long been trying to conciliate behind the curtains and is therefore constantly in touch with his Russian colleague Lavrov. It looks like he is the only one in the German government who realizes that the refugee crisis will get completely out of control if the war in the Middle East continues. Austria and Spain signaled days ago that a Russian participation in the battle against IS was crucial. Russia began expanding its military activities in Syria.
German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen wants to expand the deployment of the Bundeswehr, the (German unified Armed Forces) in Iraq. They Bundeswehr would be ready to continue its successful work in Kurdish regions in cooperation with the Iraqi government, she told Der Spiegel on Saturday.
First steps would already be undertaken. Germany delivered medical supplies, helmets and hazard-protections masks. Up to 100 Bundeswehr soldiers are training Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq. Weapons were also delivered.
Von-der Leyen also ordered thousands of German soldiers into readiness in the wake of the refugee crisis. If this was done because of the refugees or hints of terror threats is still unknown. The order was given to the troops a day before, said a speaker of the ministry on Friday in response to a report by Der Spiegel. Up to 4,000 soldiers are under constant readiness to be deployed.
French forces also maintain a strong presence in Syria, since launching air strikes against the Assad and ISIS regimes late last year. According to a Kurdish source, French troops stationed in northern Syria have also commenced constructing a military base near the city of Kobani in Aleppo province. Currently, the government of France said military personnel deployed to Syria are working only in an advisory capacity to ‘democratic’ Kurdish-led group.
France has 2,500 men in its special forces, of whom around 400 are deployed in 17 countries, mainly in the Sahel, the military said. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had indicated in early June, in remarks to a small state television channel covering French politics, that French troops were helping operations at Manbij. The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is also in the region.
It looks like it’s the United States’ move now. Clearly there are many groups today who feel the Obama has led a weak, emaciated and often confusing campaign in Syria, supporting some rebel groups in the region, and then announcing they have withdrawn funding or support for same – which would inevitably end with these allies’ deaths. Some believe that Obama’s actions several years ago may actually have assisted in the creation of ISIS in the first place.
It has been reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called into question the effectiveness of the US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS). According to PNP magazine, he stated that concerned colleagues from within the US-led coalition turned to him. They informed him that the US military did not give clearances to their fighter pilots even though they clearly located and identified Islamic State positions.]