Dutch government agrees to target DAESH in Syria

Netherlands announces agreement to extend its role against DAESH in Syria as part of US-led coalition

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

File photo shows smoke rising after an US-led air strike in the Syrian town of Kobani.

The Dutch government on Friday decided to extend its role in the US-led coalition against the DAESH terrorist group to include the bombing of targets in Syria, it said in a statement.

The country's aircraft will now also target sites in eastern Syria, it said.

"The progress that has been made in Iraq won't stand if IS [DAESH] remains in a position to support the fight in Iraq from eastern Syria," Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said.

The country is also considering sending more military equipment to support Iraqi fighters battling the terrorists.

On Tuesday, a majority of lawmakers in the Dutch parliament voted to allow air strikes in Syria with the support of the Labour Party.

Party spokesman Michiel Selten said it was "up to the Cabinet to come up with a proposal."

The Netherlands already has a squadron of six F-16 planes in the region, which have been conducting air strikes on DAESH positions in Iraq.

Socialist Party leader Emile Roemer on Tuesday said that the region needed humanitarian aid and not more bombs.

Foreign military interventions are a an especially sensitive topic in the Netherlands, which led a disastrous peacekeeping mission in Bosnia in 1995, when over 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb Forces.

In 2002 the country’s government and the top army chief resigned, taking responsibility for the mistakes by Dutch peacekeepers that led to the massacre.

TRTWorld and agencies