SINGAPORE - The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be sending about 50 to 60 personnel to take part in the coalition efforts to combat the terrorist threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Monday.
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Singapore to send officers, equipment to anti-ISIS coalition
By Charissa Yong
Singapore will contribute military personnel and equipment to the multi-national coalition battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a move that makes it the first South-east Asian nation to join the international campaign against the militant group.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, in announcing the contribution in Parliament yesterday, said it was part and parcel of Singapore's ongoing efforts to combat terrorism.
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 being sent to the United States Central Command and the Combined Joint Task Force headquarters, a tanker aircraft for air-to-air refuelling, 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.
In making the move, Singapore contributes directly to its own security, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in a statement.
"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," said Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security and Home Affairs Minister.
His comments came in the wake of the latest wave of killings by ISIS fighters, who executed about 200 members of an Iraqi tribe that had taken up arms against them.
The two ministers urged Singaporeans of all races and religions to be united, to effectively combat the ISIS threat.