Bundeswehr to continue anti-IS mission

FAQs on the foreign mission Bundeswehr to continue anti-IS mission

The Bundeswehr is to continue its mission against the IS in Iraq and Syria, with reduced troop numbers. Up to 500 soldiers are to be deployed until 31 January 2021 to help prevent any resurgence of the IS, the Cabinet has decided. The extension of the mandate still has to be approved by the German Bundestag.

Diagram illustrating the Bundeswehr's anti-IS mission (More information available below the photo under ‚detailed description‘.)

The Bundeswehr mission is to prevent any resurgence of the IS and support stabilisation in the region.

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Photo: Bundesregierung

Why is the mission to be extended?

Although the international coalition has managed to largely end the territorial rule of the terrorist organisation "Islamic State" in Iraq, IS is far from being vanquished. It still poses a serious threat, which is why the German government is determined to continue its comprehensive civilian and military engagement.

What is the contribution of the Bundeswehr?

Some of the Bundeswehr’s responsibilities will include:

  • Developing the skills of the regular Iraqi armed forces and security forces
  • Mid-air refuelling for German partners
  • Air transport and airspace monitoring as well as reconnaissance and situation assessments.

What is Germany doing apart from this military engagement?

In addition to its engagement to stabilise the region, the German government has provided humanitarian assistance (food, water, hygiene and sanitation) worth some 560 million euros in Iraq since 2014. The funds have also been used for accommodation, protection, health care and landmine clearance. In addition, the German government is counting on a long-term partnership with Iraq and is implementing development measures in the fields of good governance and economic reforms.

Why is the contingent limited to 500 soldiers?

The ceiling on the number of German troops can be reduced from 700 to 500, since the aerial reconnaissance services provided by German Tornado aircraft based in Jordan was discontinued as of 31 March 2020.

What is the basis for the mission?

The Bundeswehr mission is based on the right to collective self-defence in line with Article 51 of the UN Charter within the framework of United Nations Security Council resolutions, in particular Resolution 2449 from 13 December 2018.