Germany in talks with US on possibly joining airstrikes in Syria in the event of chemical attack: report

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The German Defense Ministry is reportedly in talks with the U.S. on potentially taking an active role in airstrikes in the event that Syria’s President Bashar al Assad uses chemical weapons in Idlib province.

Without naming sources, the Bild newspaper reported Monday that the defense ministry is examining the possibility of some kind of involvement in future military action if Syria's government carries out a further chemical attack. It said that followed a U.S. request to the chancellery.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said that "of course the German government is in contact with partners and allies" on Syria. However, he said "there has been no situation in which a decision had to be made" and that he "won't participate in speculation."

Germany stayed out of previous U.S.-led airstrikes but voiced its support.

The latest escalation comes as residents of Idlib and many players in the international community, including President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, express new concerns about a Syrian attack on Idlib. And U.S officials believe Assad has already given his approval to the use of chlorine gas in Idlib, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Deutsche Welle, the German broadcaster, cited the report, which said German tornado jets could be employed. The report said any military action would have to be approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Fox News' Hollie McKay and The Associated Press contributed to this report