The Netherlands has failed in its efforts to become part of the US-led alliance against IS forces, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday, quoting political sources.
The Volkskrant says the Netherlands’ failure to pledge a contribution ‘serious weapons’ is behind the decision to exclude the Netherlands from the ‘coalition of the willing’.
One source told the paper prime minister Mark Rutte was ‘extremely surprised’ not to be included on the list, which comprises the US, Britain, Australia, Turkey, Poland, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Denmark.
The list is made up of nine countries which ‘are prepared to take measures which could result in deaths’. ‘The Netherlands is only supplying assistance which is not directly deadly,’ the source said.
The Netherlands is providing help with transport and is sending 1,000 helmets and flak jackets to northern Iraq.
Rob van Wijk of the Centre for Strategic Studies in The Hague told the Volkskrant Britain and the US are fed up with symbolic contributions.
‘That is why there is more talk of alliances of countries which are not only willing but capable,’ he said. ‘They have had enough of countries which only pay lip service and will not contribute equipment and manpower.’
The Netherlands has been extremely cautious about becoming involved in armed conflicts since the Srbrenica massacre during the Yugoslavia civil war.
Some 8,000 men and boys were killed when the enclave, under the protection of Dutch troops at the time, was over-run.
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