Merkel: 'Anyone with a heart' wants to help Syrian rebels

Published June 27th, 2013 - 01:57 GMT
German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a speech on the outcome of last week's G8 summit and the EU summit beginning in Brussels at the Bundestag (Johannes Eisele / AFP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a speech on the outcome of last week's G8 summit and the EU summit beginning in Brussels at the Bundestag (Johannes Eisele / AFP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday 'anyone with a heart' could understand the US and some European countries wanting to increase military support to the Syrian rebels, before reiterating that Germany will not become involved in any such project.

"The hardship of the people of Syria is immeasurably great, their situation is unbearable", as the United Nations is forced to look on, Merkel said, stressing that "anyone with a heart" would want to help the people suffering under the Bashar al-Assad regime, AFP reported.

"In this desperate situation, which is increasingly threatening the entire region, surely each of us can understand that our friends and partners the US, Britain and France are considering helping parts of the Syrian opposition with weapons shipments," she said.

"Whether this approach can succeed is an entirely different question," she told parliament. "The risks, in my view, would be almost impossible to assess," she said, amid debate whether more arms would only fuel the bloodshed and weapons could fall into extremists' hands.

"But surely the desire to take an effective stand against the killing in Syria and to put an end to the Assad regime's activities can be understood by everyone -- at least by anyone with a heart."

She reiterated that at a G8 summit in Northern Ireland this month, "I made it unmistakably clear that Germany for legal reasons sends no weapons into civil war zones, including Syria.

"But I have also made it unmistakably clear that Germany will continue to do everything in its power to help the people of Syria out of the disaster," emphasizing the more than 360 million euros ($470 million) Berlin has already committed in humanitarian aid.

At least 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, according to opposition-aligned watchdog, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


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