German Parliament Votes to Send Military Assistance to Fight ISIL

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The German Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Friday to send reconnaissance planes, a frigate and midair fueling capacity to the Middle East to aid the campaign against ISIL (also known as Daesh) in Syria while refraining from direct attacks such as bombing raids.

German Parliament Votes to Send Military Assistance to Fight ISIL

The vote, with 445 in favor and 146 against, with seven abstentions, was expected, given the large parliamentary majority commanded by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “grand coalition” government of center-right and center-left.

A sprinkling of center-left deputies from the Social Democrats joined the opposition — Greens and the Left party — in opposing the deployment.

Even 70 years after World War II, Germany remains wary of using its military outside the NATO alliance, and such missions require parliamentary approval.

In this case, the opposition attacked the government for acting with unusual speed, and it charged that Ms. Merkel was relying solely on an ill-considered military action to combat the ISIL.

“War is terror that breeds more terror,” Sahra Wagenknecht, co-leader of the Left party, told Parliament, AP reported.

The government said action was essential, as the turmoil in the Middle East increasingly affects events at home — from the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees to terrorist alerts and risky missions overseas for Germany’s all-volunteer armed forces.

The vote came only eight days after the government first pledged to meet requests from Germany’s closest European ally, France, for assistance in targeting ISIL in Syria after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in central Paris.

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