Bulgaria Will Not Participate In Anti-IS Coalition

Politics » DEFENSE | September 24, 2014, Wednesday // 15:46
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Will Not Participate In Anti-IS Coalition Velizar Shalamanov. Photo: BGNES

Bulgaria does not and will not participate in the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) and the matter is not discussed by the government, said caretaker Defence Minister Velizar Shalamanov, quoted by Mediapool.bg.

According to him, Bulgaria had limited combat abilities and the air force does not have the equipment to participate in air strikes with such intensity.

The only support Bulgaria could provide, in Shalamanov's words, was humanitarian aid and light weapons for the opposition of the IS.

The comment came in response to the publication of the Bulgarian Socialist Party daily newspaper Duma, which claimed that Shalamanov and Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev pledged an infantry brigade for a ground operation against the IS.

Plevneliev's press office also denied the claims in Duma's publication.

“The information published in the daily is absolutely false,” the press office statement said. “The involving of the army and other state institutions in such rhetoric is dangerous for the national security even for the purpose of the election campaign. The use of such methods for party purposes must not be tolerated.”

“The claim that Bulgaria made a commitment to join an “eventual coalition of the willing” for ground operations against the Islamic State is not only false, but could provoke reactions both from the radical group and from the concerned states.”

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Tags: Islamic state, Velizar Shalamanov, Defence, Bulgaria, air strikes, ground operation, Rosen Plevneliev, claims, Duma
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