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Very limited European role in the war against Islamic State

September 25, 2014 at 10:19 am

France and Britain are considered to be the most prominent European allies of the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and were among the first countries that rushed to declare their willingness to participate in military operations, but Faizullah Yarm Bash reported for Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that their participation has so far been limited in comparison to America’s role.

According to Yarm Bash, France’s participation in the operation came in response to the Iraqi government’s request for assistance, which was confirmed by the French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, when he said in previous statements that the kidnapping of a French citizen by the so-called Soldiers of the Caliphate organisation in Algeria would not impact France’s role in military operations against the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, up until today, Britain has not launched any air raids yet, but has merely provided arms to Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting the Islamic State in Iraq, as its role has been primarily focused on reconnaissance—gathering and presenting information.

As for the third major power in Europe, Germany, it too continues to stay away from any military action, while only providing arms to the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces.

On the other hand, Yarm Bash reported that Belgium is involved in military operations with six F-16 aircrafts and 120 soldiers, who were dispatched to Jordan. Norway has also said that it would be sending troops to participate in military operations.

Among the other European countries that have taken a limited role in the coalition are Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark and Estonia, which are all committed to providing military equipment to the Iraqi and Peshmerga forces.

European countries have agreed not to participate in any military operations against the Islamic State in Syria unless a UN decision is made that supports such operations.