Germany shifts position, will add might to military campaign against IS

Berlin: Germany will join the military campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria by deploying Tornado reconnaissance jets, refuelling aircraft and a frigate to the region, after a direct appeal from close partner France for Berlin to do more.

The decision to commit military personnel and hardware is a shift for Germany, which has resisted such direct involvement in the conflict. It still has no plans to join France, the United States and Russia in conducting air strikes in Syria.

“Today the government took difficult but important and necessary decisions,” German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen​ told reporters after meeting with legislators.

“We are standing with France, which was hit by these inhuman attacks from IS.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel promised the support, which must still be approved by parliament, during talks with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Wednesday.

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But during her Wednesday trip to Paris, Ms Merkel was asked by Mr Hollande to do “even more”.

“When the French President asks me to think about what more we can do, then it is our duty to reflect on this and we will also react very quickly here,” she said in Paris.

German officials said Ms Merkel saw the bigger German role as a necessary price to pay in exchange for Mr Hollande’s continued support in the refugee crisis.

Full artcle: Germany shifts position, will add might to military campaign against IS (Sydney Morning Herald)

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