Germany deploys troops

Germany is planning to deploy 1,200 troops to help France in the fight against Islamic State jihadists in Syria, its army chief said Sunday, in what would be the military’s biggest deployment abroad. “From a military point of view, around 1,200 soldiers would be necessary to run the planes and ship,” army chief of staff Gen. Volker Wieker told Bild am Sonntag newspaper, adding that the mission would begin “very quickly once a mandate is obtained.” “The government is seeking a mandate this year,” said Wieker. Berlin on Thursday offered France Tornado reconnaissance jets, a naval frigate, aerial refueling and satellite images in the fight against the IS group. Between four and six Tornados would be deployed to deliver images of the ground, even in poor weather and during the night, Wieker said. Asked why Germany had shied away from participating in direct air strikes, Wieker said the coalition already had “sufficient forces and means” dealing with that aspect of the battle”.

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