Yesterday, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Al Azraq, Jordan. It is from here that the German Bundeswehr conducts reconnaissance missions with up to six Tornados and two refuelling planes, as part of the Global Coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve. Minister Maas expressed his great appreciation to the approx. 280 German servicemen and women for their dedication to the counter‑Daesh operation and was thoroughly briefed on the current situation. Minister Maas firmly believes that
Particularly in the fight against Daesh, we want to preserve what we have accomplished. For this, it is important that we remain engaged as a partner in the Global Coalition – including in Iraq. We are convinced that it is also in Iraq’s interest for us to continue to fight Daesh together.
A more difficult environment
In recent weeks, the Daesh terrorist organization has repeatedly staged attacks. Germany fears that a hasty withdrawal of the international presence in Iraq would create too large a vacuum, and that this could be filled by Daesh, which would again increase the threat of attacks in the entire region as well as in Europe. Maas emphasised the need to keep this from happening. Germany’s aim remains the political stabilisation and economic development of Iraq, as well as a political solution for peace in Syria. Germany is engaged in intensive talks with the Government of Iraq and is making the case for continued engagement by the international community – despite the recently adopted Iraqi parliament resolution. A high‑ranking Federal Foreign Office official is currently in Iraq conducting these talks.
A broad coalition to combat terrorism
Germany has been participating in Operation Inherent Resolve of the Global Coalition against Daesh since 2015. The current German Bundestag mandate runs through 31 October 2020, and support in the form of reconnaissance flights and air‑to‑air refuelling is planned until 31 March 2020. Along with its Global Coalition partners, Germany has accomplished a great deal in the fight against Daesh, both militarily and through large‑scale civilian engagement towards the stabilisation of Iraq. Since 2014, Germany has supported the Iraqi Government by making available funding totalling more than two billion euros, including 236 million euros for stabilisation and reconstruction in the areas liberated from Daesh and 557 million euros for humanitarian aid. Since 2012, Germany has provided approximately 8 billion euros in support to Syria and neighbouring countries. A broad international alliance was formed in September 2014 to take action against Daesh. Its members then established the Global Coalition against Daesh, which meanwhile comprises 81 states and organisations.