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After the UK, Germany votes on Syria

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By Euronews  with Reuters
After the UK, Germany votes on Syria

The German lower house will decide on Friday whether to support the international coalition targeting ISIL militants in Syria.

If given the go-ahead by the Bundestag, Berlin will send six Tornado reconnaissance jets, a frigate to help protect a French aircraft carrier, refueling aircraft and 1,200 military personnel.

Friday’s parliamentary vote is a direct response to a French appeal for solidarity after the Paris attacks.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen says it is in Germany’s own interests to target ISIL. “It is in our own interest to have a peaceful Middle East. Solidarity enhances an important political process but Germany has its own vital interest in bringing peace to this region.”

Increasing willingness to deploy

Berlin has shown an increasing willingness to commit troops to foreign missions in recent times.

The German Army is currently deployed in more than a dozen countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

If given the parliamentary go-ahead,Germany’s role in Syria will be one of support. It will not join its NATO allies in staging airstrikes.

Popular support – but only just

The latest poll suggests 58 percent of the population back involvement in a campaign against the self-titled Islamic State group.