BERLIN (AP) — Germany stepped up its contribution to the fight against the Islamic State group on Friday, with lawmakers overwhelmingly voting in favor of sending reconnaissance jets, a tanker plane and a frigate to provide broad noncombat support to the U.S.-led coalition flying airstrikes against the militants.
The move answers a call for help from France following last month’s deadly attacks in Paris. IS militants claimed responsibility for the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds.
On Friday, Belgian and French authorities said they were hunting two new suspects in the Paris carnage. The men used fake identity cards and sent money to a relative of the man who orchestrated the attacks the day before the ringleader died in a shootout with French police, the Belgian prosecutor’s office said.
The German Parliament voted 445 in support of the mission against IS and 146 against, with seven abstentions. The plan received wide support from the ranks of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition, a week after the German leader assured French President Francois Hollande that Germany would “act quickly” to help its ally.
German opposition lawmakers, however, questioned the effectiveness of military operations against the extremists. “You won’t fight IS that way. You’ll only strengthen it,” Left Party lawmaker Sahra Wagenknecht told Parliament.