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12.05.2015 • Saturday • M 1

St. LOuIS POSt-dISPatCH • A15

Germany OKs military mission to ight against Islamic State Lawmakers approve noncombat support vs. militants ASSOCIATED PRESS

BERLIN • Germany stepped up its contribution to the fight against the Islamic State group on Friday, with lawmakers overwhelmingly voting in favor of sending reconnaissance jets, a tanker plane and a frigate to provide broad noncombat support to the U.S.-led coalition flying airstrikes against the militants. The move answers a call for help from France following last month’s deadly attacks in Paris. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds. On Friday, Belgian and French authorities said they were hunting two new suspects in the Paris carnage. The men used fake identity cards and sent money to a relative of the man who orchestrated the attacks the day before the ringleader died in a shootout with French police, the Belgian prosecutor’s oice said. The German Parliament voted 445 in support of the mission against the extremist group and 146 against, with seven abstentions. The plan received wide support from the ranks of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition, a week after the German leader assured French President Francois Hollande that Germany would “act quickly” to help its ally.

“The party that will win is not the party that will have the most powerful, the most modern or the most expensive weaponry or even the bravest fighters,” Henin said. “The side that will win ... is the party that will have the Syrian people on its side. By bombing Syria, we are pushing the Syrians into the hands of IS.” The $145 million-German mission will see two Tornado reconnaissance planes sent to Turkey’s Incirlik base as early as next week. The frigate is already en route to join French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. A maximum contingent of 1,200 soldiers was also approved, serving as support troops in Turkey and elsewhere, including at headquarters operations in Qatar and Kuwait. The German mission is open-ended, but needs annual parliamentary approval. Meanwhile, Hollande visited the Charles de Gaulle, France’s only aircraft carrier, in the eastern Mediterranean where it was dispatched a week before the Paris attacks. The French carrier has been launching raids against Islamic State bases as part of the U.S.-led coalition’s strikes against the group — 110 sorties. It carries 2,000 people on board. British jets flew their first missions as part of the coalition’s anti-Islamic State efforts on Thursday, striking oil fields in eastern Syria that help finance the extremist group.

CRITICS ARE WARY However, German opposition lawmakers questioned the efectiveness of military operations against the extremists. “You won’t fight IS that way. You’ll only strengthen it,” Left Party lawmaker Sahra Wagenknecht told Parliament. Her criticism echoed the concerns voiced by Nicolas Henin, a French journalist who was held hostage by Islamic State militants for 10 months until being freed in April 2014. Henin said that although using military muscle against the group shouldn’t be ruled out, it should be only a small part of a broader strategy.

REBELS TO MEET Saudi Arabia is hosting Syrian opposition groups and many of the main rebel factions next week in an efort to come up with a unified front ahead of peace talks with representatives of the government in Damascus, scheduled to begin early next year. The meeting is the first of its kind in the Sunni kingdom, which is a main backer of the Syrian opposition, underscoring how the internationally backed effort is the most serious yet in attempts to end the nearly five-year civil war. The conflict has killed more than a quarter of a million

people and triggered a refugee crisis of massive proportions. The rebel factions’ participation points to the evolution in the position of many of them that long rejected any negotiations with Damascus so long as long President Bashar Assad was in power. Now they are on board to attempt a process that the United States and its allies say must eventually lead to Assad’s removal — but with no timetable for it. At the three-day gathering that starts next Tuesday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the factions will try to form a unified opposition delegation and a platform regarding what is meant to be a transitional period in Syria, oicials who were invited said.

MASS GRAVES REPORTED In Iraq Friday, the U.N. human rights oice said that it has received reports of 16 mass graves discovered near the town of Sinjar after the town was liberated from the Islamic State group last month. The reports were the latest among many instances of mass graves being uncovered in territory wrested from Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria — thousands of people have been killed in summary and extrajudicial killings by the Sunni militants and the graves have been a dark testimony to the group’s brutality. In June 2014, some 1,700 Iraqi soldiers were captured and then killed by Islamic State militants when they overran Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit. At the time, the soldiers were trying to flee from Camp Speicher, a nearby army base where they were deployed. Mass graves with hundreds of Iraqi soldiers’ bodies were found after the city was liberated in April. There were no immediate details about how many bodies might be inside the newly found Sinjar graves, according to spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly of the Oice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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(nee Serra) Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Beloved wife of Giovanni Biondo; dearest mother of Antonino, Maria and Giuseppina Biondo; dear daughter of Onofrio and Lucrezia Serra (nee Ventimiglia); daughter-in-law of Antonio and Giuseppa Biondo; sister of Vincenzo (Giuseppina) Serra, Rosalia (Vito) Randazzo, Teresa (Gianfranco) Pizzo; sister-in-law of Maria (Matteo) Licavoli; our dear niece, aunt, cousin and friend to many. Services: Funeral Monday, December 7, 9:30 a.m. from Collier's Funeral Home, 3400 N. Lindbergh, St. Ann to Holy Spirit Church, 3130 Parkwood Lane, Maryland Heights Mass 10:00 a.m. Entombment Holy Cross Cemetery. Visitation Sunday, 2-9 p.m. www.colliersfuneralhome.com

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) casts her vote Friday to join the alliance against the Islamic State group.

at the age of 93, fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church on Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Beloved husband of the late Patricia Smith Erker; loving father of Charles A. Erker (Holly), G. Stephen Erker, Barbara Erker Baumstark and Barrett Erker; dear stepfather of Blakeslee E. Noyes (Joanne), Christopher B. Noyes (Anne) and Constance N. Fowler (Ian); dear brother of the late Charles Erker and August Erker; loving grandfather of Candace, Meredith, Lauren, Joseph, Blakeslee, Daniel, Connor, Patricia, Allyson, Elena and Andrew; dear great-grandfather of Tiago and Quinn; uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend. George (Daderk) was a lifetime resident of St. Louis, graduate of Country Day School and Princeton University. He was a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served as a pilot during WWII in the Pacific Theater. At the age of 26, George started his career as a stockbroker and remained active in the business the remainder of his life. George loved Pattie, his family, the Northwoods of Wisconsin and Windermere Island, Bahamas. Services: A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 7148 Forsyth Blvd., at Asbury Avenue, University City on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Private interment. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, 1465 South Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63104 or Girls Inc., 3801 Nelson Dr., St. Louis, MO 63121. The family will receive friends at LUPTON CHAPEL, 7233 Delmar Blvd., University City on Friday, December 4, 2015 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friends are invited to express condolences at www.luptonchapel.com A SERVICE OF LUPTON CHAPEL

Felman, Leon A. Died on December 3, 2015 at the age of 80. He moved to St. Louis with his family at age 32, rented a small house and opened his first restaurant. Twenty five years later he was considered a prominent, but very private, businessman - investor. He spent the last twenty years of his life doing the things he loved. He generously contributed to dozens of charitable institutions that protected animals, children and veterans. He served on the boards of St. Louis Public Radio, Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, University of Missouri (UMSL) and others. He mentored young entrepreneurs and continued to actively participate in business. Leon's great love for the Cardinals and all things sports was only surpassed by his deep love for his family and friends to whom he was fiercely loyal. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Harriet; son Seth Felman; daughter and son-in-law Amy and Stephen Levin; his grandchildren Chase, Hannah and Drew Felman and Eli and Samantha Levin; and his brother-in-law, Bernard Lipscher. He will be sorely missed. Services: Memorial service Sunday, December 6, 2:30 p.m. at United Hebrew Congregation, 13788 Conway Road with visitation beginning at 2:00 p.m. until time of service. Interment Private. A RINDSKOPF-ROTH SERVICE

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asleep in Jesus, Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Beloved son of David and Christine Keithley; loving step-son of Kristin Ober loving brother of Charlie, Luke and Delaney Keithley, Emma and Jacob Otto; loving grandson of Gary (Suzanne) Keithley, Ed (Betty) Dirnbeck, Hayward (Ann) Liebling and Ruth McClintock; dear nephew, cousin and friend to many. Services: Funeral service at St. John Church, 15800 Manchester Road, Ellisville, Monday, 11:00 a.m. Interment St. John's Lutheran Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation. Visitation at the SCHRADER Funeral Home and Crematory, 14960 Manchester Road at Holloway, Ballwin, Sunday 4-8 p.m. and at the church, Monday 10 a.m to time of service. Friends may sign the family's on-line guestbook at Schrader.com.

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