German Cabinet approves AWACS support for anti-IS mission

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet has agreed upon increased support for the coalition fighting Islamic State militants and will soon add AWACS reconnaissance aircraft to the effort.

Germany is not involved in combat operations but already has Tornado reconnaissance jets and a tanker stationed in Turkey in support of the mission, in addition to naval assets.

While the Tornado jets perform ground-surveillance operations, the AWACS — Airborne Warning and Control System — aircraft approved Wednesday would watch the airspace, the dpa news agency reported.

Following the decision, the government said the Islamic State group was not only a regional threat, but also "a direct danger to Germany."

The plan still needs Parliament's approval but isn't expected to meet any resistance.