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Germany to send planes and warship to help in fight against Islamic State

German chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet has decided to send reconnaissance aircrafts, tanker planes and a warship to help in the fight against Islamic State.

The government has also agreed to provide satellite surveillance to help France in the war against IS, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.

During Ms Merkel's visit to Paris on Wednesday, French president Francois Hollande had said it would "be a very good signal in the fight against terrorism" if Germany could do more against IS in Syria and Iraq.

Germany currently provides weapons and training for Kurds fighting against IS in Iraq.

The decision still needs parliamentary approval, but it was not expected to meet much resistance by MPs.

Ms Von der Leyen said the warship would help protect France's aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean, and the tanker planes could help refuel French warplanes in the air.

The satellite surveillance could provide important information on IS and also help protect civilians with precise information, she said.

The reconnaissance aircraft will also support France in its fight against Islamist extremists.

Ms Von der Leyen said that France had asked for help and that "the government has decided on these difficult, but important and necessary steps ... with the awareness that we are firmly on the side of France".

Germany currently provides weapons and training for Kurds fighting against IS in Iraq.

The decision is not expected to meet much resistance from parliamentarians.

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