Status: 12.01.2022 6:01 p.m.
The traffic light government wants to extend the Bundeswehr mission in Iraq by nine months. So far, the Greens had voted against a new mandate. Now there is a crucial change.
The Bundeswehr should continue to participate in the international operation against the IS terrorist militia. The traffic light government has decided to deploy up to 500 soldiers in Iraq for a further nine months. “The mandate of the Bundestag is to be extended until October 31, 2022,” said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit after a cabinet meeting.
The Bundeswehr has been supporting the anti-IS coalition in Iraq since 2015. It should continue to do so “by providing capabilities for air refueling, air transport, air surveillance and situation mapping as well as staff”, said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) and Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD).
So far, the Greens in the Bundestag had spoken out against an extension of the mandate. Foreign Minister Baerbock is now promoting it. Green parliamentary leader Irene Mihalic also believes that the parliamentary group will vote in favor of extending the mission.
Application area limited
“The planned mandate differs in key points from those of the previous government,” says the Green foreign policy expert Jürgen Trittin dem ARD capital studio. The clear restriction of the operational area to Iraq “turns a mandate that is contrary to international law into one that conforms to international law”.
Syria is excluded as an operational area in the draft mandate. The Bundeswehr missions in Iraq and Syria differ significantly in legal terms: In Iraq, the Bundeswehr is deployed at the express invitation of the local government. It thus has a basis under international law. The deployment in Syrian airspace, on the other hand, took place without the consent of the local government.
Mission is being reviewed
The left parliamentary group in the Bundestag criticized the draft mandate. “The halving of the operational area in the new mandate of the traffic light government does not make the military operation any more correct,” said Sevim Dagdelen, left-wing chairwoman in the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The deployment should already be checked during the mandate period. In the coalition agreement, the Ampel coalition partners agreed to evaluate all Bundeswehr missions abroad.
Cabinet for the extension of the Bundeswehr’s Iraq mission
Marcel Heberlein, ARD Berlin, January 12th, 2022 6:00 p.m.