Germany ‘Strongly Condemns’ Iran Missile Attacks
Germany’s defence minister condemned Iranian missile attacks on Iraqi bases housing coalition military on Wednesday and called on Tehran to end a “spiral” of conflict.
“The German government strongly condemns this aggression,” Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told broadcaster ARD.
“It is now crucial that we do not allow this spiral to continue,” said the defence minister, adding that “it is now primarily up to the Iranians to refrain from further escalation.”
Kramp-Karrenbauer said that Germany had been in contact with the US department of defence throughout Tuesday night, and that “all channels” of communication would be opened in a bid to prevent further escalation.
She added that she would seek a meeting of the coalition’s 13 framework nations to discuss the situation in the region.
Separately, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged Iran to “refrain from all steps that could lead to further escalation”. He also called on all parties to exercise restraint.
The overnight attack on bases in Al-Asad and Arbil was the latest escalation amid growing tensions in the region since a US drone strike killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last Friday.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is also the leader of Angela Merkel’s ruling conservative party, said the missile attacks could see further withdrawals of German troops in Iraq.
Germany temporarily withdrew 32 of its soldiers from a camp close to Baghdad on Tuesday, and the defence minister said that plans were now being drawn up for a “possible partial withdrawal” from Arbil.
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