Germany to boost support for int’l anti-Daesh coalition

2nd Dec 2015
Germany to boost support for int’l anti-Daesh coalition
BERLIN (AA) – German government has decided to provide additional military support to international coalition against Daesh by sending warplanes to fly reconnaissance missions, a tanker aircraft and a warship to the Middle East.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday the German government has decided to provide intelligence and logistical support to the international coalition, after a request by France in the aftermath of Paris attacks.

“That was a difficult decision, but it is necessary. It is a dangerous operation,” von der Leyen told N24 television after a Cabinet meeting.

“I believe that nobody disputes that ISIL should be confronted militarily, one cannot negotiate with them,” she said, using another acronym for the terrorist group.

Germany will send Tornado planes to collect intelligence on Daesh targets, von der Leyen said.

“The pictures and data obtained by these jets will only be shared with the coalition, won’t be available to Russia,” she said.

Von der Leyen also ruled out cooperation with the Assad regime in the fight against Daesh.

“Assad will have no future in Syria, and there will be no cooperation with the troops under the command of Assad. We will not cooperate with those who have blood on their hands. Assad should be held responsible one day for his acts, for bombing his own people with barrel bombs and toxic gas,” she said.

German government’s decision to provide additional military support to the international coalition against Daesh requires an approval by the parliament, which will begin discussions on the issue Friday.

The parliamentary approval looks assured as Merkel’s coalition partners enjoy an overwhelming majority in the national assembly.

Germany is planning to send up to 1,200 soldiers as part of the new mission, which is expected to cost around €134 million ($142 million).

So far, Germany has refrained from an active military role in airstrikes against Daesh but focused on equipping and training Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq, which have recently cleared several areas of Daesh in Iraq, including the town of Sinjar near Mosul.

Around 100 German soldiers are currently stationed in northern Iraqi city of Erbil in order to train Peshmerga forces.

Germany’s more active military role against Daesh also follows a more active foreign policy advocated by Merkel’s coalition government, stressing Germany’s responsibility for international peace and stability.

German army, or Bundeswehr, currently has around 3 thousand soldiers stationed abroad, for international peace and stability operations.

Around 850 German soldiers are currently taking part in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, and around 110 German soldiers are supporting the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, in Lebanon.

 
Author: Ayhan Şimşek
[Photo: Members of Syrian opposition forces fight against Kurdish rebel group People’s Democratic Union (PYD) in Keshtear village located in Azaz, Aleppo on November 29, 2015. Photographer: Hüseyin Nasır/AA]

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