Merkel Dismisses Reported US Request for More Help against ISIL
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Chancellor Angela Merkel brushed off what a German magazine said was a request from the US to provide more military help in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.
“I believe Germany is fulfilling its part and we don’t need to talk about new issues related to this question at the moment,” Merkel told the ZDF broadcaster on Sunday when asked about the Der Spiegel magazine report, Reuters reported.
Der Spiegel reported on Saturday that US defense secretary Ashton Carter had sent a letter asking for a bigger military contribution from Germany, a week after parliament approved a plan to join the campaign in Syria.
A German defence ministry spokesman confirmed a letter had been received from the US and its content was under consideration, giving no further details.
Der Spiegel said the letter did not make specific demands and was similar to requests sent to other US partners.
Germany’s mission includes six Tornado reconnaissance jets, a frigate to protect the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, refuelling aircraft and up to 1,200 troops.
The deployment is a direct response to a French appeal for solidarity after militant attacks in Paris killed 130 people. Germany does not plan to carry out airstrikes in Syria.
Germany has over the past two years shown a growing readiness to commit troops to foreign missions. Defense minister Ursula von der Leyen said last week Germany might need bigger armed forces to cope with the more assertive role.
More than 3,000 personnel are currently deployed overseas and the Syria mission will raise that by up to 1,200. Von der Leyen also wants to send 650 troops to Mali to help the French campaign against militants there. Germany last year started arming Iraqi Kurds fighting ISIL.