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Singapore to join fight against ISIS

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will join 33 other nations in Operation Inherent Resolve, a multinational coalition to combat the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen today (Nov 3).

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will join 33 other nations in Operation Inherent Resolve, a multinational coalition to combat the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen today (Nov 3).

Announcing the decision in Parliament, Dr Ng said the SAF had participated in multinational coalition efforts against religious extremists who pose a terrorist threat to Singapore and Singaporeans, as it did in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. It will continue to participate in such efforts, he added.

SAF’s contribution will be “within its means” and “sustainable and useful” to the efforts against ISIS, he said. This includes liaison and planning officers to the United States Central Command and the Combined Joint Task Force HQ, a KC-135R tanker aircraft for air-to-air refuelling, and an Imagery Analysis Team.

Dr Ng said these assets were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan previously, proved effective and were appreciated by international partners. However, there will be no combat troops and the SAF will operate from surrounding countries around the combat zone.

“There will be risks to SAF servicemen as they carry out their missions. To mitigate these risks, we will ensure that our servicemen are well equipped, and receive additional training in weapon handling, and against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other hostile elements,” said Dr Ng.

The Defence Minister’s announcement followed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s comments last month that Singapore is “seriously considering” how it can be a helpful partner in the fight against ISIS.

Speaking at a retreat at the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan, Italy, Mr Lee said Singapore views extremist groups such as ISIS as a threat as they can recruit vulnerable individuals with their extremist ideology. Radicalised individuals who return to Singapore can carry out attacks on home soil, he added.

The 33 other countries in the coalition include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Japan, South Korea, Great Britain, France and Canada. These countries have provided military support or humanitarian aid to the coalition.

 

 

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