Germany must veto Trump's Syria strike plan within NATO – Left Party chair

Germany must veto Trump's Syria strike plan within NATO – Left Party chair
Germany needs to fight Donald Trump's plan to launch a military attack on Syria, the co-chair of the country's Die Linke (Left Party) has said, adding that war would only escalate an already-bad situation.

Speaking to Taz newspaper, Katja Kipping said that intervention in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in Douma would not help the people in the country, but would instead "escalate the conflict."

She added that such an intervention could have far-reaching implications. "It would be wrong to stir up the war situation in Syria and expand it into a direct war between NATO forces and Russia, or between the US and Iran," she said.

Kipping called on Germany to “veto” within NATO and make it clear that the current policy of the US and Turkey in Syria is "devastating."

It comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out German participation in a military strike on Syria. She did, however, state that Berlin supports sending a message that the use of chemical weapons "is not acceptable."

Trump isn't as restrained, having tweeted on Wednesday that Russia should "get ready" for missiles to be launched at Syria, despite an official Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons investigation not yet taking place. His administration, however, appeared to backtrack on that stance, maintaining that nothing has been decided – while still stressing that "all options are on the table."

Britain, for its part, seems to be sticking by its closest ally. The cabinet stated on Thursday that the UK "must take action" following the alleged chemical attack, which it said was "highly likely" to have been carried out by the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. It also suggested that Prime Minister Theresa May would continue to lead the West's next move together with Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron.

But as Western countries seem prepared to act, Russia has stated that the alleged attack didn't happen at all, and was instead staged by the intelligence services of a "state" which promotes Russophobia.

“We have irrefutable evidence that it was another staging, and the special services of a state which is at the forefront of the Russophobic campaign had a hand in the staging,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok on Friday. 

Russia has also stressed that the initial report of the attack came from the rebel-linked White Helmets volunteer group, and that the Russian military found no trace of such an attack after traveling to the scene. Experts from the Organization of Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are yet to deliver their assessment and will start working on the site of the alleged attack this Saturday.

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