Anti-IS mission in Iraq and Syria

Ensuring stabilisation in the region

The Bundeswehr is to continue its mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, but the contingent has been scaled back. The Cabinet’s decision means that there will be a ceiling of 700 on the numbers of troops supporting the anti-IS coalition up to 31 October 2020.

Bundeswehr troops enter a German air force transport plane.

Bundeswehr troops on the way to their deployment. Their mission - consolidate achievements, further progress, prevent setbacks.

Photo: getty images

The Bundeswehr mission is to ensure stabilisation in the region, prevent the re-emergence of the Islamic State (IS) and foster reconciliation. The current troop strength of 800 is to be reduced to 700, in view of the improved security situation. The strength of the contingent nevertheless underlines the need for continued German engagement.

Replacement of troops the aim

The German engagement remains necessary to consolidate what has already been achieved, further progress and prevent setbacks. The German contribution dovetails with the engagement of international and regional partners in the fight against IS. The mission is based on requests lodged by the Iraqi government and on its consent.

The new mandate for Iraq will continue unchanged in substance and will apply up to 31 October 2020. The German contribution to aerial reconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling is, however, limited until 31 March. The country’s involvement in building Iraq’s security forces and its contribution to the NATO AWACS (Airborne Early Warning and Control System) flights will nevertheless be continued for the entire duration of the mandate.

The Bundeswehr mission is based on the right to collective self-defence pursuant to Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, in particular Resolution 2249 of 20 November 2015.

Support for Iraqi security forces

The international, comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach is to be maintained until a level of stability is achieved in the region that enables the people to live in safety and security and that opens up sustainable development prospects.

The mission also aims to enable Iraqi forces to ensure security in the country independently. To this end the Bundeswehr is involved in capacity building measures in Iraq.