BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday condemned the killing of civilians in Syria as a massacre, adding that Berlin would reach out to Russia in its efforts to stop the violence.
"What we currently see, the dreadful events in Syria, a
regime fighting not against terrorists, but against its own
people, the killing of children, the destruction of hospitals,
all this is a massacre which needs to be condemned," Merkel
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She said that Berlin would discuss the war in Syria with
Moscow. "We must do everything that is within our power so that
this massacre comes to an end," Merkel added.
Earlier last year, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party called for the repatriation of half a million Syrian refugees living in Germany, saying the war there was nearly over and that President Bashar al-Assad had urged refugees to return home.
Syria’s army declared victory over Islamic State, saying its capture of the militants’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their three-year, hardline reign in the region.
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However, fighting is continuing in many areas, the United Nations says, in a complex civil war in which millions have been killed or forced to flee their homes, many to neighboring countries or to Europe.
The AfD’s proposal for repatriating Syrian refugees is its first since it swept into Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in September’s federal election on an anti-immigrant platform.
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