German intervention against ISIL

German intervention against ISIL
Part of the Military intervention against ISIL and
the Operation Inherent Resolve
Date4 December 2015 – present
(1 year and 1 day)
LocationIraq, Syria
Status Ongoing
Germany Germany Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Commanders and leaders
Germany Angela Merkel
Germany Ursula von der Leyen
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  • 4–6 Tornado
  • 1 A310 MRTT
  • 1 ship
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The German intervention against ISIL was authorized on 4 December 2015. The involvement of the country in the Syrian Civil War and the Iraqi Civil War began with the Bundeswehr mission in Syria and Iraq (codenamed Operation Counter Daesh, under the aegis of Operation Inherent Resolve[1]) to combat the terrorist organization ISIL. The mission was primarily created as a reaction to the November 2015 Paris attacks.[1]


The deployment of the Bundeswehr had been discussed from the end of November 2015 within the German government, debated in parliament and decided on 4 December 2015 with a majority of the votes of the coalition parties CDU and SPD. As a justification it was stated that the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Turkey, Beirut, against Russia and especially in Paris had shown that the terrorist organization acted far beyond the currently controlled territories in Syria and Iraq and also posed a global threat to peace and security. Furthermore, with the attacks in Paris ISIL had attacked France and the liberal value system of Europe directly. Legally, the right to collective self-defence according to article 51 of the United Nations Charter was cited as a justification.[2] In addition, the mission was designed to protect the people in the region from further systematic war crimes.

The Bundeswehr assists French forces with a frigate, six Panavia Tornado reconnaissance aircraft and an A310 MRTT, deployed to the Turkish air force base Incirlik. Armed attacks (such as by participating in the air strikes of the international anti-IS coalition) are not planned by Germany. The contingent of 1,200 soldiers is the currently largest foreign deployment of the Bundeswehr. Because of the risks associated with the unclear situation in the ongoing civil war in Syria, the policy of the Federal Government with the Bundeswehr mission is controversial. Critics such as Jakob Augstein, leftist columnist of German news magazine Der Spiegel, dubbed the mission "Merkel's War", which made Germany a "war party". In addition, the critics feared that the risk of terrorist attacks in Germany was likely to rise.[3]

The parliamentary mandate for the mission was valid until 31 December 2016. It was extended at 10 November 2016 by another year until 31 December 2017. The military operation was reported to cost 134 million Euro.[4]

Scale of operations

There will be around 1,200 personnel involved in the mission:[5]

On 10 December 2015, 40 personnel (in a Airbus A400M Atlas) and two Panavia Tornados flew to Incirlik Air Base as the initial contingent.[6]

The Tornados will be used in an reconnaissance role.[5]


German Air Force

German Navy

The Bremen-class frigate F213 Augsburg from the German Navy will be in the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle's task force.[5]

See also


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