Germany mulls sending up to 1,200 troops on Syria mission, urges Assad to fight IS

The German government is planning to send up to 1,200 troops to help in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff said Monday that the figure would be an "upper limit" for the number of troops needed to provide support for and operate reconnaissance aircraft, tanker planes and a warship.

The Cabinet is due to agree the mission's mandate Tuesday and put it to Parliament for approval. German troops won't actively engage in combat.

Officials rejected any suggestion that Germany might cooperate with troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in the fight against IS.

But Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said that "if the Syrian regime says it's fighting terrorists on its own territory, then it should do so, please."