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    Personnel of the 51st squadron Immelmann enter an Airbus A400M military aircraft before taking off from the German army Bundeswehr airbase in Jagel, northern Germany, December 10, 2015. Germany deploys two Tornado reconnaissance jets and 40 troops to Turkey to back the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria

    Germany Considers Deploying Troops Near Libya to Train Government Forces

    © AFP 2017/ CARMEN JASPERSEN
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    Berlin is considering the deployment of between 150-200 troops near Libya to assist with the training of the Libyan armed forces, Der Spiegel reports, citing internal German army plans.

    "According to internal [government] plans, German soldiers could, along with Italian colleagues, begin to train the Libyan armed forces within the next few months," the German daily reported on Saturday. 

    For safety reasons, the newspaper noted, the forces would be deployed to neighboring Tunisia.

    The mission, aimed at helping to stem the spread of the Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) terror group in Libya, could involve between 150 to 200 Bundeswehr troops, and would be modelled along Berlin's ongoing mission training Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq.

    The German Defense Ministry has not denied the report, a Defense Ministry spokesman saying only that now is "not the time for speculation about a military deployment, but rather for diplomatic negotiations," according to Deutsche Welle.

    The mission, Der Spiegel explains, would be possible only after rival factions in the war-torn country agree to form a unity government. 

    Descending into chaos in 2011 following a Western-backed military effort to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's internationally recognized government was forced in 2014 to retreat to the eastern city of Tobruk.

    The possible deployment comes amid Germany's growing involvement in the Western coalition's war against Daesh. On January 6, Berlin confirmed that it would be deploying an additional 550 troops to missions against Islamist militants in Mali and Iraq. Last month, German lawmakers voted to send a frigate, Tornado reconnaissance aircraft and up to 1,200 troops to the region. German involvement does not include a direct combat role.

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    Tags:
    training mission, training, anti-Daesh coalition, Bundeswehr, Daesh, Libya, Germany
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