By The Associated Press
The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group is growing, with dozens of countries among its ranks. The coalition is contributing a wide range of efforts, from carrying out airstrikes to providing military assistance and humanitarian aid.
Here are some of the key partners in the coalition.
The U.S., which is leading the coalition, has launched dozens of airstrikes on Islamic State targets. It also has sent military advisers, supplies and humanitarian aid to help Iraqi troops and Kurdish forces beat back the insurgents.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have participated in airstrikes in Syria. A fourth, Qatar, has played what the Pentagon called a supporting role.
The Emirates and Qatar also host air bases that are being used for the coalition’s aerial campaign against the Islamic State group. U.S. Navy ships involved in the airstrikes are assigned to the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet. Saudi Arabia has agreed to host training facilities for Syrian rebels on its territory.
Jordan has launched airstrikes against Islamic State positions, with government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani calling the move “necessary in light of continuous attempts to infiltrate our borders.” The kingdom didn’t give any specifics about its operations, but said the airstrikes aim to insure the country’s security.
Egypt hasn’t announced any specific participation in airstrikes, but President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi told the AP that Egypt is “completely committed to giving support,” and will do “whatever is required” to support the coalition.
Israel is offering intelligence estimates and concrete intelligence to the U.S. on the Islamic State group as part of ongoing intelligence sharing between the two countries, an Israeli defense official said. But, he added, Israel wasn’t asked to contribute anything beyond that. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the issue. The prime minister’s office declined to comment.
Britain said that Tornado fighter bombers, supported by air-to-air refueling aircraft and signals intelligence, are operating over Iraq. Britain’s media has widely reported that six warplanes are on standby in Cyprus, but defense officials have declined to offer specific numbers. Ben Goodlad from IHS Jane’s has said that the Tornado jets offer the coalition enhanced capability to engage moving targets. Britain also has two weapons for long-range strikes: the Tornado’s Storm Shadow cruise missile and the submarine-launched Tomahawk cruise missile, he said.
France has carried out airstrikes in Iraq on two occasions since joining the U.S.-led coalition on Sept. 19, firing laser-guided bombs from Rafale fighter planes upon munitions and military hardware stockpiles _ first near northern Mosul, then on Thursday, near Fallujah. France is conducting the operations in Iraq from a French air base in the United Arab Emirates. The base, with about 750 French service personnel and six Rafales, is 1,700 kilometers (1,050 miles) from Mosul, meaning that the planes need refueling in flight to strike in Iraq.
An Australian air force contingent, including eight F/A-18 Hornet jet fighters and two support aircraft, has arrived in the United Arab Emirates. About 600 troops _ most of them air force personnel _ are being deployed with the aircraft. The jets are expected to be used in airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Iraq, although the Australian government has yet to commit to a combat role.
Six F-16 multirole fighters and a contingent of 120 support staff, including eight pilots, to be based in Jordan. Authorized to take part in operations over Iraq for one month, subject to extension if approved by the Belgian government.
Denmark has pledged seven F-16 fighter jets _ four operational planes and three reserve jets along with pilots and support staff for 12 months. The U.S. also has asked Danes to provide military trainers to Iraq to school Iraqi and Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State group on the ground. Denmark has already contributed a transport plane with personnel to a U.S.-led humanitarian operation in northern Iraq.
Canada has contributed about 70 special operations soldiers to offer instruction to Kurdish forces battling Islamic State militants in northern Iraq. Early this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Cabinet will be considering a U.S. request to support airstrikes against Islamic State forces. This could include five to eight CF-18 fighter aircraft as well as tanker aircraft. Canada has already contributed two military cargo planes that carried weapons to Kurdish fighters.
Germany isn’t participating in any airstrikes against the Islamic State group. They have sent weapons to Kurdish fighters in Irbil, and a group of Kurdish peshmerga fighters arrived in Germany to receive weapons’ training here by the German army. There’s also German military in Irbil to train the peshmerga fighters in Irbil.
Greece is participating with humanitarian aid and by sending ammunition for Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State group. They haven’t specified any more details on quantities or type of humanitarian aid.
Georgia will be providing humanitarian assistance, not military aid, according to comments made by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday to local news websites.
Hungary has promised to send 15 types of ammunition totaling nearly 6 million units to Iraqi Kurds. Most of the ammunition, 4.1 million cartridges, was the M43 type for the AK-47 assault rifle.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta said his country would offer “logistic, operational and humanitarian” support to the coalition, but not troops. He provided no details of the assistance.
Poland supports the coalition against the Islamic State, but is not actively engaged in combat.