The German cabinet has voted to back plans to provide military support to operations against Islamic State (Isis) in Syria. Tornado reconnaissance aircraft, a naval frigate and a 1,200 strong military force will be sent to the region under the proposals, which the German parliament is expected to approve in a vote on 2 December.
The decision comes after appeal for support from French President Francois Hollande in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris on 13 November, in which 130 people were killed. German MPs are expected to back the motion. The British parliament will also vote on 2 December on whether to join coalition air strikes against IS positions in Syria.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told German newspaper Bild that he expected a lengthy deployment of German forces in the area. "We're going to have to take a long breath before we beat an enemy like IS," he said. The German government will initially seek backing for a year-long mission."
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen ruled out cooperation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the fight against IS. "There is no future [in Syria] with Assad, nor will there be any level of coopeation with troup who are under Assad's command," she said.
If approved, the mission would be Germany's largest overseas military operation.