German parliament debates extending anti-Daesh mission


The German parliament on Thursday began debating a motion to extend the military’s anti-Daesh mission in Syria and Iraq.

Addressing lawmakers at the Bundestag, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer underlined that the terrorist group Daesh remained a threat for the region despite its loss of territory.

“The international coalition should maintain military pressure on the IS [Daesh],” she stressed, adding that Germany’s contribution was significant for the coalition.

According to the motion from the government, German surveillance jets based in Jordan would continue anti-Daesh flights in Iraq and Syria until the end of March 2020, but this mission will not be extended for another term.

The Bundeswehr’s military training mission in Iraq would be extended at most until the end of October 2020.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner Social Democrats (SPD) have been critical of the deployment of German Air Force in the region, fearing that growing tensions in the Middle East could draw Germany into a wider conflict.

The Social Democrats pledged to back the motion on condition that it would be the final extension of the Jordan-based mission.

Germany had deployed six Tornado surveillance jets and a tanker aircraft at Al Azraq air base in Jordan to support the U.S.-led global coalition fighting Daesh.

In Iraq, German armed forces have around 150 troops to train Iraqi security forces.
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