Tunisia joining US-led coalition against IS: PM

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 5, 2015

Tunisia’s prime minister said on Saturday (Oct 3) that his country is joining the US-led military coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq mainly to “exchange information”.

IS claimed an attack that killed 38 foreign tourists at a seaside resort near Sousse in June, and authorities also blame the extremist group for another that killed 21 foreigners in Tunis in March. Joining the coalition would allow Tunis to “obtain all information linked to the war on terror in Tunisia”, Habib Essid told media.

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama announced Tunisia had joined the coalition, along with Nigeria and Malaysia, and that the alliance now comprised more than 60 countries. The coalition “includes countries with more information than us,” the Tunisian premier said.

Asked whether Tunisia would take part in any military operations, Essid said, “There are cases in which a country can be asked to provide military support in which case we will revert to article 77 of the constitution.”

This article provides for “forces to be sent abroad with the agreement of the heads of the parliament and the government”.

Since Tunisia’s revolution, the North African country has seen a rise in extremist extremism that the authorities also blame for the deaths of many members of the security forces.

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