Merkel is “ready to take a position” on US President Donald Trump’s threat to use force against Syria if the Russian government is not more cooperative in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the German government’s leader said Sunday.© REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said Germany would do everything in its power to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government retake control of the embattled city of Aleppo from Islamic State militants.
“If this threat is credible, the chancellor is prepared to take the necessary measures, in accordance with the legal obligations that have been established, and I am ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that the ceasefire is respected,” she told German public broadcaster ARD.© AFP 2018 / KENA BETANCUR President Donald J. Trump has vowed to use the United States military to topple Syrian President Assad if Russia does not cooperate in a US-Russian initiative to defeat the Islamic group.© AP Photo / JEWEL SAMAD Syrian President Walid al-Muallem (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, October 4, 2020.
President Donald Trump on Monday told reporters in the Oval Office that the United Nations Security Council should take “appropriate action” against Russia for its role in the conflict, which he said has killed hundreds of thousands of people and destabilized the Middle East.
The United States has called for a “stronger and more powerful coalition” to fight ISIL in Syria, with the Russian air force and Assad’s government as its main backers.
Germany and France have both voiced concerns that Russia may be planning to use its air power against the United Kingdom, France and Turkey in the coming days as they prepare for a major air campaign in the region against the Islamic extremist group.
“It is not only the Russian military which has shown a readiness to take military action against the Syrian government.
It is also the Russian foreign minister who is making preparations to use military force against the coalition that will be formed in the next days,” Merkel told ARD on Sunday.”
We must not forget that there is also a Syrian opposition that will not be intimidated, but rather will resist with the full support of the international community.”© AP Photos / Alexander Zemlianichenko Russian President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview with the Interfax news agency in Moscow on October 10, 2020.(AFP)The chancellor’s comments came as a Syrian regime airstrike hit a residential area in Aleppo, killing at least 15 people and wounding at least 60, the Observatory of Syrian Rights said.
It was the first reported civilian casualties in the attack on Aleppo since March 20, when Russia and the United Arab Emirates carried out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.
The strikes came a day after Russia and Turkey announced a deal for a Russian-led coalition to bomb the Islamic militants in Syria for the first time in more than three years.© Getty Images