Germany's defense minister proposed Tuesday the establishment of an internationally controlled security zone in Syria, hours before a five-day ceasefire between Turkish troops and Syrian Kurdish fighters was set to expire in the war-torn country. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told German news agency dpa that "the creation of an internationally controlled security zone with the inclusion of Turkey and Russia" would have the goal of deescalating the situation in northern Syria. Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters invaded northern Syria earlier this month, after President Trump pulled back American troops who had partnered with Syrian Kurdish forces in the years-long war against ISIS.
The German parliament would need to decide on whether German troops could participate in such a zone, Kramp-Karrenbauer said. She said that instead of acting like "onlookers," Europe "needs to create structures in the long run that, for example, make it possible for the voluntary return of refugees to this region." She said Chancellor Angela Merkel had been informed of the proposal. The situation in northern Syria has been relatively calm over the past few days despite sporadic violations of the five-day ceasefire that went into effect on Thursday night under an agreement made by the US and Turkey, the AP reports.
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