Berlin Agrees to Provide Crews for NATO's AWACS Planes in Syria
15:42 12.10.2016(updated 15:43 12.10.2016)
German servicemen will carry out reconnaissance missions aboard NATO's Airborne Warning and Control System planes in Syria.
BERLIN (Sputnik) – The German cabinet approved on Wednesday sending German pilots to fly NATO's Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) reconnaissance planes in Syria, the federal government said in a statement.
"Bundeswehr soldiers will be conducting reconnaissance missions as part of international crews on NATO's AWACS planes," the government announced.
The mandate of the operation, which still needs to be approved by the federal parliament, is due to expire at the end of 2017. The number of personnel involved has been capped at 1,200.
NATO announced its plan to use AWACS planes to support operations of the US-led coalition in Syria at the July summit. Their deployment needs the approval of all participating member states.
The German armed forces, Bundeswehr, are not conducting combat missions against the Daesh (outlawed in Russia) terror group in Syria. Its involvement is instead limited to reconnaissance and logistics.
Last December, the German military deployed Tornado surveillance jets and tanker aircraft to help the US-led coalition gather data on Daesh forces. The Augsburg frigate is also guarding France's Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean.
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