Germany to end anti-′Islamic State′ mission in March | News | DW | 24.10.2019

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Germany to end anti-'Islamic State' mission in March

The German military will end its anti-"Islamic State" military mission in six months. The issue has divided the CDU-SPD coalition in Berlin.

The German parliament on Thursday voted to end the Bundeswehr's anti-"Islamic State" (IS) mission in Syria and Iraq after March 31, 2020.

The Christian Democrats (CDU) and Social Democrats (SPD) have been in a tussle over extending the mission's mandate, with the SPD demanding the German military end its role in the international coalition.

Read more: Germany's Syria conundrum

The SPD has opposed extending the military mission, arguing that former Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen had promised parliament to terminate the anti-IS mandate.

The mandate was set to expire at the end of October and would normally have been extended by a year.

Germany has four Tornado reconnaissance jets, an AWAC aircraft and an in-flight refueling tanker based in Jordan carrying out missions as part of a US-led international coalition.

Lawmakers also voted to extend the Bundeswehr's military training mission in Iraq for one year.

The decision to end Germany's participation the anti-IS mission comes as Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has suggested the creation of an international security zone in northeast Syria.

The United States has urged Germany to continue its participation in the anti-IS mission. 

cw/stb (dpa, epd)

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