German parliament slams U.S.-led strikes in Syria as illegal

Germany did not participate in the military strikes in Syria, but Chancellor Angela Merkel said they were “necessary and appropriate.”

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April 22, 2018 10:55
2 minute read.
Bundestag

A view of the German Bundestag. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The Bundestag – Germany’s parliament – slammed on Friday the US, France and Britain for carrying out military strikes against the Syrian regime for its use of chemical weapons, claiming the attacks violated international law.

The Jerusalem Post obtained the 11-page expert opinion on the April 14 US-led strikes in Syria.

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“The implementation of military violence against a state in order to punish this state for a violation of an international convention represents a violation of the international law ban against violence,” the Bundestag document states.

The German Left Party commissioned the legal opinion. The Tagesspiegel Berlin daily termed the Left Party “Russia’s voice in the Bundestag.”

Critics of the Left Party say it favors protecting Russian interests and many of its deputies have aligned themselves with some of Israel’s deadliest enemies, including Hezbollah and Hamas.

Although Germany did not participate in the military strikes in Syria, Chancellor Angela Merkel said they were “necessary and appropriate.”

The Bundestag assessment quoted from United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2625 (1970), the “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”: “States have a duty to refrain from acts of reprisal involving the use of force.”

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According to the parliamentary opinion, “international law literature, as well as the German press, have unanimously qualified the recent military attack of the allies against Syria a violation of international law.”

Berlin largely concurred with London’s view that it is permitted under extraordinary situations to carry out military attacks in foreign countries to alleviate massive human suffering. The doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” employing force is attributed to former US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

According to a Forsa poll from last week, 50% of Germans blame the US for its ongoing conflict with Russia and 25% blame Russia. A startling 79% of the German public believe US President Donald Trump is a greater danger to peace than Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Germany’s former foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel pushed for sanctions to be lifted against Russia for its illegal annexation of Crimea.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Berlin is lobbying the Trump administration to exempt German companies “from tough new US sanctions on Russia.”

Giant German companies such as Siemens AG, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG are conducting business “with entities tied to people subject to the sanctions,” the Journal wrote.


None of the parties in Germany’s Bundestag called for a probe of Baden-Württemberg-based Krempel Group’s alleged deliveries of material to Iranian businessmen that turned out to be used in chemical rocket attacks in Syria in January and February.





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