Soldiers of the German air force prepare to enter an A310 MRT aerial refuelling jet before it takes off from the Cologne Wahn base near Cologne, western Germany, Dec. 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DPA / OLIVER BERG
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The German government said Monday that it was in talks with its allies about a possible military deployment in Syria, prompting a sharp rebuke from the Social Democrats (SPD) and setting up a fresh conflict in Chancellor Angela Merkel's loveless coalition.Participation in any airstrikes in Syria would also put Germany on a collision course with Russia, the main backer of President Bashar Assad.Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Germany had discussed with the United States and European allies its possible military involvement if Assad's forces used chemical weapons against the last major rebel stronghold in Idlib, now under heavy Syrian and Russian bombardment.The German air force already provides refueling support and carries out reconnaissance missions using four Tornado fighter jets from a base in Jordan as part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Daesh (ISIS) militant movement in Iraq and Syria.
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