German cabinet approves deployment of military assets for ISIL fight

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Germany is set to contribute air, naval and military personnel assets to the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) after its cabinet approved an assistance package on Dec. 1.

The package, which goes to Germany’s parliament for final approval, includes Tornado reconnaissance jets, a naval frigate and up to 1,200 troops. Germany offered the assistance following a French request after the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks.

German Tornado jets.
German Tornado jets.

“The German contribution serves the fight against terrorism under the auspices of the alliance against ISIL and is aimed at supporting in particular France, Iraq and the international alliance in its fight against ISIL,” the mandate says.

The assistance package is for one year at a cost of 134 million euros ($142 million), reported AFP. The package is practically guaranteed to be approved by parliament under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “grand coalition” government, observers say,

“We are doing what is militarily necessary, what we can do best, and what we can back politically,” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the daily Bild. “We need patience against an enemy like ISIL.”

Andre Wuestner, head of Germany’s armed forces union, the Bundeswehrverband, told public broadcaster ARD that he expected the fight against ISIL to last “far more than 10 years” and called for a “clearly defined mission.”

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