German minister can’t rule out longer-term military role in Middle East


AZRAQ, Jordan (Reuters) – German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday said she could not rule out a longer-term deployment of German forces in the Middle East.

Von der Leyen made the comment during a visit to a Jordanian air base where some 300 German troops are supporting a refuelling plane and four Tornado fighter jets that fly reconnaissance missions as part of U.S. led-coalition operations against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Asked if Germany needed a strategic base in the Middle East, von der Leyen said, “First we must bring this deployment to a successful end. I don’t want to rule the idea out, let me put it this way.”

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