Home > Asia
Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 11:41

Singapore joins anti-ISIS coalition

By Xinhua

 Singapore joins anti-ISIS coalition
Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen speaks to reporters after hosting a ministerial lunch at the 13th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) in Singapore on May 31, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / Stefanus Ian)

SINGAPORE - Singapore's defense minister Ng Eng Hen has said that the republic will send military personnel and equipment to the multi-national coalition battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), local media reported on Tuesday.

It will be the first Southeast Asian nation to join the campaign, the Straits Times reported.

The newspaper said that it was similar to what Singapore gave to fight the terrorist threat from Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah ( JI) in the past 10 years. The aid will comprise Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) liaison and planning officers, a tanker aircraft for air-to-air refueling, and an imagery analysis team.

All were previously deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But no SAF combat troops will be on the ground in Iraq and Syria. Instead, SAF soldiers will operate from surrounding countries with other coalition forces, he said.

The deployment length should be reviewed annually, the minister added.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in a statement that Singapore contributes directly to its own security with the move.

"The threat posed by ISIS affects all of us, in all countries. Singapore is not immune. Singapore needs to play its part and support international efforts to contain the threat posed," Teo said.

Ng cautioned that the threat is long-term, and new groups like ISIS will emerge even as existing ones falter.

"When they do, we must not lose focus or heart in dealing with the threat from ISIS. We must continue with the approach that has served Singapore well and protected us thus far," he said.

"There will be risks to our 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 and other hostile elements," he said.

Latest News