Archive for Germany

German general fully support airstrike

Posted in counterterrorism, foreign policy with tags , , , , , , , on September 10, 2009 by admin

German general backs officer in Afghan airstrike

Germany’s top military commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday he stood “fully behind” the German commander who called in a U.S. airstrike on fuel trucks hijacked by Taliban that killed civilians as well as insurgents.

Brig. Gen. Joerg Vollmer insisted in a phone interview with The Associated Press that Germany’s relations remain good with its NATO allies, including the United States, even after the U.S. military criticized the German officer who requested the attack in northern Kunduz province.

An Afghan official appointed by President Hamid Karzai to examine Friday’s attack said his best estimate of the death toll was 82, including at least 45 armed militants. (Problem here: how to discover who are terrorists and who are civilians, when no terrorist wears an identification?).

The top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has pledged a full investigation.

…Insurgents have stepped up attacks in Kunduz, a province dominated by Pashtuns — the largest Afghan ethnic group from which the Taliban garner their support and recruits. Some analysts say that insurgents have been able to operate with relative freedom because of the German military’s policy to make the security of its own troops its top priority.

Vollmer hinted that operations like Friday’s airstrike — the first German-led action in seven years to cause significant militant deaths — could become more frequent in future.

Vollmer blamed the tense security situation in Kunduz on the lack of Afghan police, the influx of former refugees returning from Pakistan and Iran, and efforts by militant groups to protect lucrative smuggling and extortion rackets from government interference.

German Defense Minister on Afghan NATO’s air strike

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by admin

The air strike was absolutely necessary,” Jung told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “I can’t comprehend how some can so quickly criticize the military action without knowing what the situation was or the background information.”

…Jung, who has repeatedly said Germany is not engaged in “war” in Afghanistan, said German officers had “very detailed information” collected over several hours about the two hijacked fuel trucks.

“We had clear information that the Taliban had seized both fuel trucks about six kilometers away from our base in order to launch an attack against our soldiers in Kunduz,” Jung said of the attack, ordered by a local German commander.

If that had succeeded, it would have had horrible consequences for our soldiers. That’s why, in my view, the commander made the right decision … Based on the information I got, only Taliban terrorists were killed in the strike.”

Related: UN probes fiery German battle with the Taliban. A Defence Ministry spokesperson said the bombing mission would not have been ordered if civilians were known to be present.

Bomb explodes near German convoy in Afghanistan

Posted in terrorist attacks with tags , , on September 5, 2009 by admin

A roadside bomb exploded Saturday near a convoy of German troops in northern Afghanistan, a day after German military commanders ordered a NATO airstrike in the region, killing up to 90 people, many of them civilians.  Authorities say the blast damaged vehicles, but there are no report of any serious injuries from Saturday’s explosion.

German police arrests Islamist suspect

Posted in arrested terrorists with tags , , on August 28, 2009 by admin

Islamist Terrorism Suspect Arrested by German Police, FAZ Says – Bloomberg.com

German police arrested a 24-year-old Turkish man allegedly recruited by a suspect on trial in Germany on charges he belonged to an Islamist cell that plotted attacks on U.S. citizens, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said on its Web site, citing unnamed law-enforcement officials.

The man was detained on his way to a training camp in the Afghan-Pakistani border area and it’s unclear how he intended to support the Islamic Jihad Union, the newspaper said today. He allegedly was recruited by the “Sauerland cell,” named after the western German region where members were arrested in 2007

More here.

Sarkozy, Merkel, Netanyahu warn of tougher sanctions against Iran

Posted in foreign policy with tags , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by admin

Sarkozy threatens “severe” sanctions against Iran – WashingtonTV تلویزیون واشنگتن

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday warned Iran that it faced “severe” new sanctions if it continued its controversial nuclear program.

Speaking to French ambassadors in an annual foreign policy speech in Paris, Sarkozy also criticized Iranian leaders for their handling of protests following June’s disputed presidential election, reports The Press Association.

“These are the same leaders, in Iran, who tell us that the nuclear program is peaceful and that the elections were honest. Frankly, who believes them,” he said, according to The Press Association.

Merkel, Netanyahu Warn Iran of Sanctions in Nuclear Dispute – Bloomberg.com

Merkel, speaking at a joint news conference with Netanyahu in Berlin today, said the world is heading toward a September deadline for Iran to cooperate with demands to stop enriching uranium. Netanyahu called for the threat of “crippling sanctions” and Merkel said “we reject” a nuclear-armed Iran.