Dutch fighter jets in action above Iraq, will start bombing this week

Dutch F-16 fighter jets were in action above Iraq this weekend but did not use any weapons, the defence ministry said on Sunday evening.

The Dutch planes tested their potential for supplying ‘close air support’ to ground troops and are now ‘completely ready’ to be used in the anti Islamic State campaign, the defence ministry said.

Commodore Onno Eichelsheim, who is in charge of the Dutch mission to Iraq, told television show Nieuwsuur the Dutch planes will take part in active bombing of IS positions this week.

The Netherlands has sent six active F-16s and two reserves jets to take part in the anti-IS campaign in Iraq. The Dutch contribution also consists of 250 support staff for the fighter jets and 130 officials to train local soldiers.

The US is leading the mission from Qatar. A number of Middle Eastern countries are taking part, as is France, Britain and Belgium.

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