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The German Cabinet has approved a mandate offering military assistance to back the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria. The move is aimed at supporting France and the international alliance in its fight against the Islamic State.

Germany could deploy up to 1,200 military personnel to support the international alliance, following a request from France in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris last month. The mandate is for one year and can be extended next year.

The German mission, which has yet to be approved by Parliament, includes sending Tornado reconnaissance jets, a refueling aircraft and a frigate to protect a French aircraft carrier.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had acknowledged ahead of the cabinet vote that it could be a protracted fight. Though no date has yet been set for the parliamentary vote but approval is considered virtually guaranteed as Chancellor Angela Merkel's grand coalition government has an overwhelming majority.


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