Germany mulling troop deployment in Tunisia for training mission
German military trainers show Kurdish Peshmerga fighters how to take apart a machine gun at a training camp in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on January 12, 2015. (AFP PHOTO)
Germany is considering dispatching troops to Tunisia to allegedly help train soldiers in the fight against Daesh Takfiri group.
German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday that representatives of the defense and foreign ministries would hold talks in Tunis on Thursday and Friday about how the German military could lend support in a training mission.
The German paper said the German military mandate could initially include a training program for Tunisian soldiers, and eventually, setting up a German training camp in Tunisia for Libyan soldiers, run by Berlin’s other international partners.
“The IS (Daesh) terror is threatening all of North Africa,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the paper.
Von der Leyen claimed that a training camp in Tunisia would be a contribution to regional stability.
“And if its direct neighbor Libya manages to put in place a unity government one day, its security forces could also benefit from established training facilities in Tunisia,” she said.
A German foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the planned talks in Tunis “on further cooperation on security” but declined to provide more information.
German forces are currently engaged in an international coalition led by the United States allegedly formed to combat Daesh Takfiri militants.
Their mission includes arming and training Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and flying reconnaissance missions over Syria with Tornado jets.
This as Germany’s defense commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels warned in a report last month that the German military was overstretched and underfunded and had reached “the limit of its capacity for interventions.”
Tunisia suffered two devastating attacks targeting its vital tourist sector last year, in the beach resort of Sousse and on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, together leaving 60 people dead.
Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed both attacks.
The militant Takfiri extremists have also been gaining ground in Libya amid the unrest that has gripped the country since longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi was ousted in 2011.
The so-called anti-Daesh coalition, led by the United States, has been engaged in an air campaign that is purportedly targeting Daesh forces in Iraq and Syria since 2014.
Many observers have questioned the effectiveness of the US-led military campaign, as civilian targets have been hit in most cases, and see the West’s military intervention in other country’s as a means to consolidate its influence and global hegemony.