• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Italy denies Isis bombing campaign is imminent
The Italian Ministry of Defence has denied reports stating that Italian Tornado aircraft are about to be used to bomb Isis targets in Iraq. Photo: US Air Force/wikimedia

Italy denies Isis bombing campaign is imminent

The Local · 6 Oct 2015, 16:52

Published: 06 Oct 2015 16:52 GMT+02:00

A statement released by the ministry on Tuesday said that a bombing campaign was “a hypothesis being evaluated with our allies, not a decision that has been taken.

“In any case, a decision would need to pass through parliament,” the ministry added.

The statement was released following reports in the press that Italian jets would soon be deployed to carry out airstrikes on suspected Isis targets in Iraq.

Italian forces have been present in the Middle East as part of a western coalition against Isis for over a year but until now they have played a supporting role.

The Italian forces in the coalition consist of four Tornado fighter jets, a fleet of unarmed drones and a KC767 refueling aircraft, all of which are operated by 140 pilots and ground staff from an airbase in Kuwait.

Until now the Italian forces have been limited to carrying out reconnaissance missions. But in spite of the ministry's denial they could soon be engaging with targets on the ground.

France and Russia have already started bombing raids in Syria and the Iraqi government has asked Italy to help them fight Isis forces along its border with Syria, not far from the capital, Baghdad.

Story continues below…

It is unclear whether Italian politicians would be willing to green light a bombing campaign – in the past Italian premier Matteo Renzi has repeatedly stated that Italian craft would not be used for air raids in Syria.

However, Corriere della Sera reported that following the Iraq government's plea, Italian opinion on airstrikes might be changing.

Today, US Secratary of Defence, Ashton Carter, is visiting the Nato air base of Sigonella in Sicily, after which he will fly to Rome to meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. 

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Five migrants dead in shipwreck: Italian navy
500 people were pulled to safety and seven bodies recovered after a heavily crowded boat overturned off the Libyan coast. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

UPDATED: The navy said at least 550 people had been pulled to safety but added that the rescue operation was still underway and that the death toll could rise.

Italians petition to save paradise island's hermit
Some call it home: the island of Budelli, Sardinia. Photo: Luca Giudicatti

"Without him, the island's ecosystem would be severely compromised by now."

Italy finds 'body-filled' wreck of WWII submarine
Italian divers have located the wreck of a T-class Second World War submarine. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Experts say the bodies of 71 servicemen are still sealed inside the airtight submarine.

Video
200-metre sinkhole swallows cars in central Florence
Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

The accident was probably caused by erosion from the River Arno.

Rome in €500m plea to restore historic icons to former glory
A man dressed as Julius Caesare takes part in an event to mark the anniversary of the legendary foundation of the Eternal City in 753 BC, on April 19th, 2015. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

"We need help to ensure Rome continues to be a reference point in terms of beauty for the whole world."

Italy says another 3,000 migrants rescued off Libya
Migrants rest aboard the rescue ship "Aquarius", on May 24th after a rescue operation in front of the Libyan coast. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

The overwhelming majority of those arriving in Italy so far this year have been from sub-Saharan Africa.

Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
Florence's Ponte Vecchio. Photo: Colby Blaisdell/Flickr

Ponte Vecchio is one of the world’s most famous bridges. Rebuilt after a flood in 1345, it was the only bridge across the Arno that the escaping Germans did not destroy during the Second World War. Many put the bridge’s survival down to a Nazi official, as Stephen Caruso reports.

And Lonely Planet's 3rd 'must visit' Europe destination is...
This Italian town is a 'must see' this year. Photo: Gatnau/Flickr

Drumroll, please.

Plush Sardinian resort serves Harrods with eviction notice
Harrods has been told it cannot open in Sardinia this year. Photo: Rick Payette/Tony Sheng/Hl_1001/Flickr

“Everybody, including Harrods, needs to obey the same rules."

Italian football hooligan gets 26 years for rival fan's murder
Daniele De Santis has been found guilty of killing a Napoli fan ahead of the Italian Cup final in 2014. Photos: Rome police/AFP

Daniele De Santis, a Roma 'ultra' and right-wing militant, was on Tuesday found guilty of killing 31-year-old Ciro Esposito.

National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
Society
Cheese, wine and family: the Italian way to live beyond 100
Culture
7 breathtaking alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Politics
Long-term Brit in Italy barred from EU vote vows to fight on
2,522
jobs available