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Germany's national Muslim council slams Syria plan

The leader of Germany's top Muslim council has come out against a plan to join the coalition fighting 'Islamic State' in Syria. Council chairperson Aiman Mazyek said it will only sow new forms of terrorism.

The head of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims spoke out against German involvement in Syria on Saturday. Speaking to the "Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung" newspaper, Aiman Mazyek said that this type of strategy in the fight against terrorism had already proven a failure.

"Today we know that the 'War on Terror' just spawns more terrorism. That means if al Qaeda created 'Islamic State' (IS), then when comes next?"

The interview followed a decision by the Bundestag, the German parliament, to join the coalition against 'IS' in Syria by sending German reconnaissance planes on intelligence-gathering missions over terrorist-held territory.

According to Mazyek, a much better plan is to stop the delivery of weapons to the jihadists, to force regional powers to come together at the negotiating table and by focusing on a strategy of reconciliation, creating a perspective of hope and peace for Syrians and not one of continued misery and conflict.

"That’s the best way to stamp out terrorism and dictatorship worldwide," adding that groups like 'IS' and al Qaeda benefit from the West engaging them in violence because war is an important part of their political goals.

Referring to Germany’s involvement in the protracted conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mazyek reminded readers that "we have sown war, and out of it came refugees and terrorism."

The Syrian mandate, approved by the Bundestag on Friday, will involve some 1,200 German soldiers, six reconnaissance jets, one refueling plane, satellite technology and frigate aircraft. Bombing campaigns such as those carried out by the US, France, and Great Britain were not part of the plan.

es/jlw (AFP, epd)

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