• 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
Italy, US and Colombia bust massive drug trafficking ring
Franco Roberti, Italy's anti-mafia and anti-terror chief, will be at the press conference in Rome at midday. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Thirty-three drug traffickers have been arrested and large quantities of cocaine seized as part of the investigation between Italy, America and Colombia.

The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP

Britain has voted to leave the European Union, and many if not most British expats in Italy are deeply concerned. But there are a few silver linings...perhaps.

How and why Italy's cannabis laws could soon change
Italy's parliament will begin debating new cannabis laws next month. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP

In July, Italy's parliament will begin debating historic changes to cannabis laws that could see the drug legalized.

At least 10 dead on sinking migrant boat: coastguard
At least 10 people have died in the latest Mediterranean disaster. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

107 people were rescued.

Praying Moroccans spark bomb alert on flight to Rome
The plane was forced to turn back to Ancona. Photo: Elliott Brown

This is the latest in a series of flight disruptions in recent months because of fears over passengers “looking suspicious”.

Italy to remove corpses from salvaged migrant boat
Some 800 people died in the 2015 tragedy. Photo: Marina Militare

The sinking left around 800 dead - but they will now get proper burials.

Italy ready for German 'Everest': Florenzi
Italy's midfielder Alessandro Florenzi (L), Italy's forward Ciro Immobile (C) and Italy's forward Lorenzo Insigne arrive for a press conference in Montpellier. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

"We've already climbed some mountains here and now we're facing Everest."

Italian spouses 'faked break-up to cash in on benefits'
File photo: foooomio/Flickr

Italy's finance police tracked the couple using hidden cameras.

Lidl and Bertolli fined €550k for fake 'extra virgin' olive oil
Photo: Dave Fayram/Flickr

The fines for misleading branding were recently hiked in Italy's ongoing battle to protect its oils.

Two-year-old hospitalized after being raised vegan
File photo: Joe Radele/AFP/Getty Images

The toddler spent several days in intensive care where she was treated for health complications thought to be caused by her parents' vegan diet.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Culture
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Travel
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
National
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Health
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Travel
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
National
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Politics
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Travel
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Politics
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
National
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Culture
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
2,529
jobs available