Germany on Wednesday extended by one year its military contribution to the multinational coalition against the Islamic State group but decided to end its Tornado reconnaissance flights in six months.
Although the IS has lost the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria, underground militant cells are still considered a major threat in the war-ravaged region.
Germany has been taking high-resolution images of potential IS targets for the coalition, using Tornado fighter-jets based in Jordan, and has also provided aerial refuelling to partner nations.
The air force part of the mission will end next March 31 under a compromise deal reached between Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and her junior coalition partners the Social Democrats, who wanted to end the deployment now.
The German military will however continue until October 31, 2020 the training of security forces in Baghdad and in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.