Dutch parliament overwhelmingly backs miltary action in Iraq

Dutch MPs on Thursday night voted by a large majority in favour of joining efforts to combat the Islamic State in Iraq.

Only the Socialist Party and pro-animal PvdD voted against the plan to send six F-16 fighter jets to the region. Between them, the two dissenting parties control 17 of the 150 seats in parliament.

However, there is still no majority support for similar action in Syria because of the lack of an international mandate, a position supported by prime minister Mark Rutte.

UN resolution

He says a mandate, possibly in the form of a UN resolution, is crucial for intervention in Syria as well. ‘That will be difficult, given the position of Russia and China in the UN security council,’ he said.

The Christian Democrats, Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam PVV and the small religious parties do support direct action in Syria.

Dutch F-16s could see action in Iraq as early as next week, Rutte said.

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