Dutch prime minister compares bombing of Islamic State to WWII

The allied bombardment of the Islamic State in Iraq is similar in key ways to the allied military campaign against Nazi Germany in World War II, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.

In both cases, the missions are aimed at defending key values, Rutte said after Friday’s cabinet meeting.

‘We have to defend our core values with tooth and nail if necessary,’ Elsevier quoted the prime minister as saying. ‘It was necessary then and it is now.’ Despite the differences and the need to be careful making historial comparisons, you can regard the two situations as similar, Rutte said.

The campaign against IS is ‘a fight for our values and our society, where every man and woman, gay or straight, whatever their religion, is the same before the law and can contribute to the country,’ Rutte said.


The broad support in parliament for Dutch participation in the bombardment of IS positions in Iraq is ‘historic’, the prime minister said.

But he refused to describe the campaign as a ‘third world war’. ‘ISIS is not a state. You go to war with a state,’ he said. ‘ISIS is a terrorist organisation and we are taking action against it.’

Rutte also said the Netherlands is not actively looking for a mandate to take action against IS forces in Syria. However, ministers do want to make an ‘active contribution’ to determine what would be needed for approval in international law, he said.

The Dutch goverment justifies sending six F-16 fighter jets to Iraq because the Iraqi authorities requested international help.

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