Tuesday 01 December 2020

Dutch parliament now backs bombing IS targets in Syria

Operation Iraqi FreedomA majority of MPs now support the involvement of Dutch armed forces in bombing IS targets in Syria after the ruling Labour party had a change of heart.

The party’s defence spokesman Michiel Servaes said on Tuesday afternoon the PvdA now supports possible military intervention in Syria. Dutch bombers are currently involved in missions over Iraq but the government has so far resisted calls for a direct role in Syria.

Servaes told broadcaster Nos that the Labour party ‘sees opportunities to intensify efforts to combat IS’. This must be an ‘effective contribution’ to the well-being of the Syrian people, he said. ‘It is up to the cabinet to come up with a proposal.’

Ministers are now expected to reassess the situation and decide what official position the Netherlands will take at Friday’s cabinet meeting.

Cross border

The PvdA’s coalition partner, the right-wing Liberal VVD, has backed military intervention in Syria for some time. The party argues that restricting efforts to Iraq is artificial given that IS operates a cross-border campaign.

Labour’s doubts have also partly been removed by the start of peace talks between Syrian president Assad and the moderate opposition parties on Friday, Servaes said.

However any Dutch contribution is likely to be short lived because the Netherlands is due to hand over its roll to Belgium in June, the NRC points out.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.