Dutch F-16s will not take part in ground attacks

Dutch F-16 fighter jets taking part in the Nato mission in Libya will not take part in ground bombing and will only be used to support the no-fly zone, the government told parliament in a written statement.

The statement by foreign minister Uri Rosenthal and defence minister Hans Hillen said that although the Netherlands is not against ground attacks to protect civilians, they see no military reason for Dutch planes to be involved, reports the Dutch press.
The ministers say there are enough French and American planes to do the job.
The F-16s, which are flying along the Libyan coast, will help enforce the no-fly zone and the weapons embargo, reports Trouw.
The Dutch have 200 military personnel, six F-16s, a tanker aircraft and a minesweeper taking part in the Nato mission, which is planned to last for three months. Should Nato decide to prolong the engagement, the government will consider staying and inform parliament.

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