Berlin weighs joining possible Syria airstrikes: Report

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – Germany’s Defense Ministry is examining options for joining a possible U.S.-led military operation against Syria, if the regime would further use chemical weapons against civilians, Bild daily reported Monday.

The German army Bundeswehr might provide support by deploying Tornado surveillance jets, which are generally used for reconnaissance flights but can also perform airstrikes, the daily reported.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman neither confirmed nor denied the report, but acknowledged that Berlin was holding talks with the U.S. and its European partners on the recent developments in Syria.

"In principle, any military deployment of armed forces abroad must be in line with the Parliamentary Participation Act," Steffen Seibert told a press conference in Berlin.

Germany’s constitution and the Parliamentary Participation Act have been highly restrictive, and only allowed such deployments in the context of the Berlin’s international obligations to the United Nations, the NATO or the European Union.

In April, the German government extended political support to a U.S.-led military operation in retaliation for the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons. But Berlin did not take part at that time in the joint-strike by the U.S., France, and the U.K.

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