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Germany 'to send reconnaissance jets to Syria'

Germany plans to send reconnaissance jets to Syria, to help in the fight against "Islamic State," according to a Christian Democrat politician. French President Hollande appealed to Germany for help to fight the group.

A defense expert from Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats said on Thursday that Germany would send Tornado jets to provide reconnaissance assistance in the fight against the self-styled "Islamic State" (IS).

Henning Otte, the CDU's parliamentary defense spokesman, said Germany would become "a more active contributor than it is now."

Germany has already

promised to send 650 peacekeeping troops to Mali

, relieving French troops fighting an Islamist insurgency in the former colony. Berlin also promised to strengthen its operations training anti-IS fighters in northern Iraq.

"We will not only strengthen the training mission in northern Iraq, but also advance our commitment to against IS terror in Syria, including the use of RECCE reconnaissance Tornados," said Otte on Thursday.

Sources told the DPA news agency that Germany would send a warship and at least one refueling aircraft, as well as providing satellite reconnaissance. The decision was made at a meeting of senior ministers in Berlin, called by Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany's non-aggressive post-war constitution means that the country has somewhat limited options in military engagements abroad, especially with regard to airstrikes.

Merkel travelled to Paris on Wednesday, and was asked by French President Francois Hollande to do "even more" in the fight against IS in the wake of the Paris attacks, which killed 130 people.

Merkel promised a swift response

to the request, but did not commit to details.

rc/msh (dpa, Reuters)

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