Dutch ministers meet to discuss role in anti-IS campaign

The Dutch cabinet is meeting on Wednesday afternoon in an effort to decide what role the Netherlands will play in international efforts to combat Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq.

Broadcaster Nos says it is likely the Netherlands will put six F-16 fighter jets at the disposal of the international mission and will take part in military action. The Dutch role on the ground in Syria, however, is likely to be confined to humanitarian and diplomatic work.

Prime minister Mark Rutte said in New York on Monday the Dutch cabinet understands the reasons behind the US-led bombardment of Syria but has still not decided how it will contribute.


The prime minister confirmed then that the Netherlands is still working on a briefing to outline what action the Netherlands can take in international efforts to combat the Islamic State.

Rutte said the parliamentary briefing will also look at the international mandate for such action, which he said makes the question more complicated.

‘We are not alone. We are talking about a large number of countries working together,’ he said. ‘We need time. If you are considering asking Dutch soldiers to make a contribution to the battle against IS, then that has to be done very carefully.’

Dutch deaths

Dutch counter-terrorism chief Dick Schoof on Monday confirmed three Dutch jihadists had died in the US attacks on Aleppo. All three were known to be in Syria, he said.

‘These lads were there and had joined up with al-Nusra or IS or one of the other terrorist groups operating there,’ he said.

The killings led one Dutch jihadist, said to be part of al-Nusra, to place a video on line calling for attacks on Dutch government targets. He also confirmed the three Dutch deaths.

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