(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Lawmakers on Dec. 4 approved plans for Germany to take on a direct role in the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria answering France’s appeal for help after the deadlyParisterror attacks.
TheGermanParliament the Bundestag agreed on Dec. 4 to the mandate for the deployment of six Tornado reconnaissance jets which have no offensive fighter capability and are specialized in air-to-ground reconnaissance a frigate to aid theFrenchaircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Mediterranean and a total of around 1200 troops. The Bundestag passed the mandate with an overwhelming majority of 445 votes in favor and 146 against.
AGermanfrigate will be deployed to protect the Charles de Gaulle from whichFrenchfighter jets are carrying out bombing runs and the tanker aircraft could refuel them mid-air to extend their range.
A date has not been set for the deployment which is estimated to cost 134 million euros ($142 million) although Germany and Turkey were already working this week toward a deal to station the Tornados at the ncirlik air base in southern Turkey.
The voting at the Bundestag came a few days afterGermanChancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet decided to contribute to the fight against ISIL and a day afterGermanDefense Minister Ursula von der Leyen visitedAnkarato meet her Turkish counterpart smet Ylmaz.
The green light for the mission which could become modern Germany’s biggest ever deployment abroad comes three weeks after ISIL militants killed 130 people in a series of attacks in Paris.
The atrocities prompted France to invoke a clause requiringEuropean Unionstates to provide military assistance to wipe out ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
Welcoming theGermanparliament’s decisionFrenchPresidentFrancois Hollandesaid it is “another example of the solidarity between France and Germany.”
Hollande arrived on Dec. 4 on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to meet air crews launching strikes on ISIL militants in Syria and Iraq an Agence France-Pressejournalistsaid.
“He will meet military personnel taking part in operations to intensify the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq” a statement from theFrenchpresidency said earlier in the day using an acronym for ISIL.
A broad coalition of 60 countries has been battling ISIL since August 2014 although involvement in Syria has been more limited with some Western nations wary of how military action could actually end up serving President Bashar al-Assad’s regime which they view as no longer legitimate.
But reticence seemed to have melted away following theParisattacks with Britain becoming the latest country to join the U.S.-led bombing campaign over Syria on Dec. 3 striking an ISIL-held oil field.
After repeatedly ruling out the use of “boots on the ground” U.S. President Barack Obama also agreed to send as many as 100 special forces to Iraq with a mandate to carry out raids inside Syria.