Germany to boost troops in Mali, extend anti-Islamic State mission

Germany is planning a major boost to the number of troops it deploys in the crisis-hit West African state of Mali and to extend its involvement in the international fight against the Islamic State extremist group in northern Iraq.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to raise the number of soldiers it has committed to Mali to 1,000 from the current deployment of 530.

The Bundeswehr troops are to provide helicopter and drone operations as part of the MINUSMA mission, which is considered to be the UN's most dangerous military operation with groups such as al-Qaeda terrorizing the northern part of Mali.

Merkel's conservative-led coalition has a solid parliamentary majority ensuring that the deployment will be approved by lawmakers.

At the same time, the cabinet decided at its meeting in Berlin to extend the training mission in northern Iraq, where about 150 Bundeswehr troops are helping to train Kurdish soldiers involved in the fight against Islamic State.

Last update: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:17

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