The German Parliament has approved the German army mission against the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) by a large majority this morning.
Up to 1,200 German soldiers will support the fight against IS with reconnaissance ‘Tornado’ flights, a tanker and a frigate.
The mandate is initially valid until the end of 2016.
445 deputies voted for the mandate while only 146 were against and there were seven abstentions.
Green and Left parties voted against it, because they consider the decision to be made too rashly.
Petra Sitte, deputy of the Left party said: “We do not want to get caught up in this war in ‘Tornado’ tempo.” Many questions are still unanswered, she added.
Union Group CEO Michael Grosse-Brömer called the behaviour of the opposition” irresponsible”.
Germany’s role in the fight against international terrorism has to be grounded in law properly, according to him.
His Green Party colleague Britta Haßelmann argued that a mandate of such importance should be discussed at length.
Meanwhile, the SPD parliamentary leader Thomas Oppermann defended the fast decision.
This was necessary, Oppermann said. “France has asked us for help.”
It does not have to be discussed for weeks or months, Oppermann said. “We can decide quickly, when it matters.”
But he ruled a deployment of German ground forces in Syria out. “In any case we won’t send a European Army, German soldiers so to speak, as ground troops to Syria,” the SPD politician said.
That would be the wrong signal, Oppermann added.
Even the SPD defense politician Rainer Arnold said, the use is justifiable and also affordable.
To counter criticism of the planned deployment, he said: “Reconnaissance fliers are no contribution to heedless bombing.”
If Germany stayed out, it will be even harder to demand solidarity in Europe. “We Germans should not be a bad example there”, Arnold said.
The parliamentary leader of the Left Sahra Wagenknecht clearly spoke against the deployment in Syria: “War makes it worse.“
“In Paris 130 people had fallen victim to the terrorist attacks and in response, innocent people in Syria shall be killed”, she complained. “What is this madness?”
Addressing the government Wagenknecht said: “It’s simply a lie that this war will weaken the IS.” The opposite is the case in her opinion.
“Bombing is also terrorism,” she admonished. “War is terror, which produces new terror.”