Germany extends anti-Islamic State mission in Iraq by 1 year

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet has approved extending Germany's military participation in an international coalition against the Islamic State group.

Merkel spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said Wednesday the Cabinet extended the Bundeswehr's training of local Iraqi forces until Oct. 31, 2020.

A shorter extension that expires on March 31 was applied to the use of Germany's Jordan-based Tornado reconnaissance aircraft and also the use of German refueling aircraft for anti-Islamic State missions.

Demmer says the international coalition's work has been "bearing fruit" with the extremist group's widespread defeat in Iraq. She says the extension of Germany's commitment is aimed at ensuring those gains are not eroded.

The mission caps German military participation at 700 troops.