Saturday 18 September 2021

Dutch urge caution on military intervention in Syria

The Netherlands has not been asked by other countries to contribute to any eventual military action against Syria, ministers told parliament on Thursday.

In addition, there is no definitive concrete evidence that chemical weapons have been used in Syria and by who, foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans and defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said in a briefing.

Although it is pretty certain that chemical weapons have been used, there is no incontroversial evidence. Only once this has been established by the UN, will there be a mandate for intervention, the ministers said.

Debate

During the debate, MPs from all parties urged caution. There were also questions about the reliability of foreign intelligence information. Several MPs refered to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 which the Dutch supported on the basis of information which turned out to be incorrect, news agency ANP said.

‘We know… that we cannot trust the powerpoint presentations of US ministers or the blue eyes of a British prime minister,’ Michel Servaes was quoted by Nos television as saying. 

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