Germany calls for de-escalation in Middle East

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Germany voiced alarm on Thursday at the escalation of hostilities in the Middle East, after Israel announced that it attacked Iran’s military posts in Syria.

“The escalation in recent hours has shown us that it’s really about war and peace,” Chancellor Angela Merkel warned, during her address at the International Charlemagne Prize award ceremony in Aachen.

Merkel, who has long favored a diplomatic solution to the disagreements with Iran, called on all sides to avoid steps that could spark a wider conflict.

“I can only advocate that everyone involved exercises restraint,” she stressed.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman claimed on Thursday to have destroyed “almost all” of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria in response to rocket attacks on the occupied Golan Heights.

Late last night, the Israeli army said Iranian forces in Syria had fired 20 rockets into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights but that all had been intercepted by their air-defense system.

The escalation came after U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he had decided the pull the U.S. out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Trump also accused Tehran of destabilizing the region with “sinister activities” in Syria, Yemen, and other places all around the world.

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