Germany Joins Fight Against Isis
The German parliament voted to join coalition forces in the against the Islamic State on Friday, joining a growing rank of European powers.
The German vote was 445 in favor, 146 against and 7 abstentions. It comes a day after British warplanes began airstrikes on Isis targets, prompted by a French appeal for unity in the battle against Isis.
Germany will send 6 Tornado reconnaissance jets, the naval frigate Sachsen, and refueling aircraft to back up the international campaign in Syria. It is estimated that about 1,200 German troops will take part in the effort, largely taking part in reconnaissance missions and intelligence assessment, not in direct combat.
Included in the 1,200 number are soldiers stationed the Sachsen, which will guard France’s Charles De Gaule aircraft carrier.
Germany’s post-Second World War constitution prevents it from taking part in battles on foreign soil. The German Defense Ministry has emphasized their role will be a supportive one, as opposed to the more assertive ones being taken by France and Britain.
The German military has been at an awkward stance since the end of the Second World War. The Defense Minister admitted last year that Germany was unable to fulfill its NATO obligations; just two days before Friday’s vote, a report concluded that more than half of the German Luftwaffe was not airworthy.
The vote was in large part a reaction to the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Since then, several incidents have taken place, including a truck bomb scare at a football game being attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several other high-ranking dignitaries.
Germany has also been the final destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria and other places in the Middle East, a direct result of Isis taking over parts of the region.
Germany has already been training and providing the Peshmerga with arms, including light anti-tank weapons and machine guns, since last Summer.
PM’s who voted in favor of the action see the move start of a long-term battle against Isis, which will eventually include plans for Jordan, Lebanon, and Libya.