German Govt Endorses Military Mission to Back Anti-IS Fight in Syria

World | December 1, 2015, Tuesday // 14:16|  views

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel talk before a Cabinet meeting in Berlin, 1 December 2015. Photo EPA/BGNES

Germany’s government on Tuesday approved plans to provide military support to the international operation against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, DPA reported.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government is planning to deploy Tornado reconnaissance jets, a refuelling tanker aircraft, a frigate as well as sending 1,200 German troops as part of the mission.

The Tornados will be fitted with surveillance equipment allowing them to take high-resolution photos and infrared images, even at night and in bad weather. German aircraft won’t take part in air strikes against IS targets in Syria.

The frigate is expected to provide back-up to French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, which has already been sent to the eastern Mediterranean as part of the international anti-IS coalition in the wake of November 13 terror attacks in Paris. The jihadist organization claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed 130 people.

The mandate of the German military is for one year, at a cost of EUR 134 M. It can be extended next year.

The lower house of German parliament, the Bundestag, will assess the planned military involvement on Wednesday, the same day when the House of Commons in British Parliament is expected to hold a debate and a vote whether to extend the airstrikes carried out by the Royal Air Force against IS targets in Iraq to Syria.

A vote in the Bundestag can take place as early as this week, according to German media reports. With Merkel's "grand coalition" of Conservatives and Social Democrats having an overwhelming majority, an approval looks certain.

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Tags:   Germany, Merkel, Islamic State group, Bundestag, vote, frigate, reconnaissance, air strikes, Syria, troops, Iraq


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