German Parliament Approves ISIS War in Syria

No Airstrikes, But 1,200 Troops En Route to Region

After intense debate but an ultimately lop-sided vote, Germany’s lower house of parliament has agreed, 445-146, to the cabinet’s plans to join the war against ISIS in Syria. The deployment will not include any German airstrikes, but they will support other nations’ airstrikes.

Under the plan, Germany will send six spy planes, a frigate, refueling aircraft, and 1,200 troops into the region. It is unclear where the German troops will actually be stationed, but in keeping with the German Constitution’s ban on aggressive warfare, they will likely not be in a combat situation.

The cabinet had signed off on the plan on Tuesday, following a similar announcement of 650 troops to head to Mali to fight alongside French troops there. The government has cited the Paris attacks as justification for more involvement abroad, particularly in nations France is involved in.

Several opposition parties were critical of the plan, such as it is, noting there was no UN authorization, no stated goal, and no apparent end-game to the conflict. Even Germany’s Armed Services Association was concerned by the lack of “clearly defined goals,” saying it was a recipe for a decade or more of aimless war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of