There is ‘little chance’ of a solution to the fight against Islamic militant group IS unless the organisation is also tackled in Syria, Dutch army chief Tom Middendorp says in an interview with the NRC.
Therefore it would be logical for Dutch F-16 fighter jets to attack targets in Syria as well as Iraq, Middendorp told the paper on Friday.
‘From a military technical point of view, there are arguments to remove the limits on the mission,’ he said. ‘But we have to look at what the impact would be elsewhere. That homework has not yet been completed.’
The Netherlands has always insisted there be an international mandate for direct intervention in Syria.
The Netherlands is currently involved in bombing missions over Iraq and has a team of 350 people training local soldiers. The Dutch role in the region had been due to end in October but has since been extended.
Last month ministers said there were grounds to take action in Syria because IS is using the country to launch attacks on Iraq. ‘This legitimizes the right to collective self defence, ministers said.
However, the Netherlands is currently limiting its role in Iraq because there is no ‘widely supported political strategy to solve the conflict in Syria,’ ministers said.
The US, Canada and a number of Arab countries are bombing Syria.