BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her government’s taboo-breaking decision to send arms to Kurds fighting ISIS militants in Iraq, telling parliament Monday that the group posed a major security threat to Germany and Europe.
A day after Berlin announced it would send anti-tank rockets, assault rifles and hand grenades to the Kurds, Merkel said Germany had a responsibility to intervene in the conflict to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq, citing evidence of ethnic cleansing by ISIS fighters.
“The far-reaching destabilization of an entire region affects Germany and Europe,” Merkel said in a speech to the Bundestag lower house, noting that the Islamist group controlled an area in Iraq and Syria that was half the size of Germany.
“Ladies and gentlemen, when terrorists take control of a vast territory to give themselves and other fanatics a base for their acts of terror, then the danger rises for us, then our security interests are affected,” she added.
Germany, weighed down by its Nazi past, has shied away from direct involvement in military missions for much of the post-war era. And even in those conflicts where German troops have been involved, such as Afghanistan, politicians have tended to describe the missions as humanitarian, rebuilding exercises rather than war.
Read more: dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Sep-01/269209-germany-defends-arming-kurds-calls-isis-a-threat-to-europe.ashx#ixzz3C5GIVn5F
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: dailystar.com.lb)