Berlin (DPA): German Chancellor Angela Merkel secured on Friday overwhelming parliamentary support for her plans to join the military mission in Syria aimed at defeating the terrorist group Islamic State.
While 445 of the 598 members of the Bundestag voted to back the 134-million-euro (142-million-dollar) year long operation, 146 lawmakers rejected the plan. Seven parliamentarians abstained.
Merkel’s conservative-led coalition, which included the left-leaning Social Democrats, controls about 80 per cent of the Bundestag vote.
Both the opposition hard-left Die Linke as well as members of the environmental Greens had signalled their intention to vote against the military mission.
Under the government plans, Germany will dispatch 1,200 troops along with six Tornado reconnaissance jets and a refueling aircraft to back up the international anti-Islamic State coalition. However, Germany will not conduct bombing missions.
The coalition has stepped up its campaign against the group in the wake of last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the massacre in which 130 people were killed.
The German mission also involves deploying up to 1,200 military personnel as well as a frigate to support the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, which Paris has dispatched to the region.
The Bundestag has to vote on any extension to the mission.
A majority of Germans back the government’s plans to support France and other allies to defeat Islamic State, according to a poll released on Thursday by the state broadcaster ARD.
While 58 per cent of those surveyed in the ARD poll said they agreed that Germany should offer military support in the campaign against Islamic State, 37 per cent were opposed.