BERLIN, Germany’s Parliament voted to join the fight against the Isis in Syria on Friday.
The vote of 445 to 145 came after Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen outlined, earlier this week, the limits of Germany’s involvement: under United Nations and European Union collective security laws, Germany would commit six reconnaissance warplanes, a refueling aircraft, a frigate to help guard a French aircraft carrier and up to 1,200 logistics and command personnel, with no on-ground combat involvement.
The vote in Parliament came in response to France’s request for help defeating IS following the Nov. 13 terrorist shootings in Paris, and a day after the United Kingdom committed fighter planes and other resources to the cause.
Prior to the vote, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, cited the legality of Germany’s mission, telling the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, “The German public can be certain the Syria operation transgresses neither against international law nor against Germany’s Basic Law [its constitution]. There are three resolutions of the UN Security Council against IS, which cover the submitted mandate. In addition, France can quite rightly cite the support obligations of its EU partners.”
Since World War II, Germany has been reluctant to commit to international military intervention. The United States has led, since September 2014, a coalition of Western and Arab countries in attacking IS positions in Syria and western Iraq. Russia began a similar initiative in September 2015.
By Ed Adamczyk