Germany cabinet on Wednesday 14th September 2016 gave a green light to deploy 650 troops to join a new NATO mission aimed to combat arms smuggling by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in the Mediterranean Sea.
The German involvement in NATO’s sea operation will be expected to last until the end of 2017. In case of an exceptional emergency, more soldiers will be increased in the mission.
The deployment of troops in the Mediterranean Sea is a broader shift of Germany to expand it military role in Europe and NATO.
Germany Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has sought to rebuild equipment and troop levels of the armed forces after years of declines.
NATO members agreed to launch the new maritime mission at a summit held in Poland in July this year.
So far, German ships are a participating in a European Union military mission called ‘Sophia’ aimed to combat the smuggling of weapons and people off the Libyan coast.