Russian involvement scuppers Dutch bombing in Syria: media

F16The involvement of Russia in Syria means the Netherlands will not get involved in direct bombing campaigns, the Volkskrant says on Friday.

The ruling Labour party believes involving Dutch soldiers would be too risky now Russia is supporting Syrian president Assad, the paper says.

‘The Russian bombing has made the situation in Syria much more complex,’ Labour MP Michiel Servaes told the Volkskrant. ‘Let us stop this fixation about using F16s. I would like to move the discussion towards the role the Netherlands can play in finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict.’

Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders, who was involved in talks about Syria at the UN summit on Thursday night, has not yet commented on the Russian role, the paper points out. But he did stress that ‘the need for extra diplomatic efforts due to the recent developments has only become more urgent.’


Last week, defence minister Jeanine Hennis said she expected a speedy decision about broadening the Dutch role in Syria. However, sources close to the cabinet have told the Volkskrant that a decision about Dutch bombing raids in Syria is further away than ever.

The Netherlands is only involved in direct bombing on IS targets in Iraq and has always maintained there needs to be an international mandate to move into Syria. However, a parliamentary majority had been in favour of expanding into Syria because IS fighters move freely between the two countries.

‘The border between Iraq and Syria only exists on maps,’ VVD parliamentarian Han ten Broeke has said several times.

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