US Pushes Germany to Remain in Syria for Spy, Training Missions – Report

Germany has been taking part in the US-led coalition in Syria since 2015, helping the allies with reconnaissance and mid-air refuelling. The German jets and soldiers, now based in Jordan, were set to leave the country this year. However, Washington has reportedly tried to persuade Berlin to stay to assist in a safe zone in northern Syria.

The US is pushing the German government to extend its air force mission in Syria and Iraq, hoping for their help to protect American soldiers there, Spiegel reports. According to the German outlet, Washington has urged Berlin not to suspend its armed forces’ group countering Daesh, insisting that its Tornado jets with their reconnaissance capabilities are urgently needed in northern Syria.

The outlet cites a confidential letter to the German Armed Forces Inspectorate, dating back to May, in which the Chief of the US Central Command Command, General Kenneth F. McKenzie, wrote that the German surveillance and refuelling flights played a key role in weakening Daesh and would be further needed. The general also praised the German commitment, emphasising the importance of tactical reconnaissance. 

“For continuing operations against extremists in the region, the military capabilities of all partners in the coalition remain urgently needed. I therefore respectfully request your continued support in the provision of surveillance flights, aerial refuelling and army training in Iraq”, the general’s letter stated…

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