German army to support airstrikes against ISIL

Merkel’s coalition government promises to send reconnaissance jets to region to support France in airstrikes against ISIL

German army to support airstrikes against ISIL

World Bulletin / News Desk

German government has announced plans to actively support its ally France in its airstrikes against ISIL in Syria, by sending reconnaissance jets, a tanker aircraft and a warship to the region.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday that Germany will take a more active role in the fight against ISIL, following France’s call for support, in the aftermath of Paris attacks. 

"We know that there are expectations particularly in the fields of aerial reconnaissance and logistics. We have promised support," Steinmeier told reporters, at a joint press conference with Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, at the German parliament.

Steinmeier stressed that, while taking a more active military role, Germany still believes that a solution to the Syrian civil war can only be found through political talks.

"But we cannot manage this if we do not military confront ISIL, al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations in Syria," he added.

Defense Minister von der Leyen said Germany will demonstrate that it stands by France by providing military support in the fight against ISIL.

"We are in a position to provide support for France in three fields, namely in terms protection, reconnaissance and logistics," von der Leyen said.

She said Germany is ready to send reconnaissance Tornado jets to the region, and can make available a satellite for detailed intelligence on ISIL, in addition to a tanker aircraft and a frigate, which can provide protection for the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Mediterranean.

"This is important not only for the fight against ISIL, to identify where it is and how it operates, but also for the protection of civil population," she said.

German Cabinet’s decision to take a more active military role in the fight against ISIL followed the meeting of Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Wednesday.

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

The recent decision of the German government to provide military support for France requires an approval by the parliament, but its decision looks assured as Merkel’s coalition partners enjoy an overwhelming parliamentary majority.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Kasım 2015, 09:25