Dutch Parliament reaches majority for air strikes in Syria

Dutch Parliament reaches majority for air strikes against DAESH in Syria with support of Labour Party

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

Smoke rises from the site of US-led air strikes in the town of Sinjar, Iraq.

Netherlands will extend air strikes against DAESH to Syria, Dutch news agency ANP reported on Tuesday.

The Dutch Parliament reached a majority in the coalition government with the support of the Labour Party, the junior partner in the coalition.

"We discussed the issue today and decided to support efforts to intensify the fight against [DAESH]," party spokesman Michiel Selten said.

"It is now up to the Cabinet to come up with a proposal, but we are willing."

People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the liberal party of the coalition, has long supported extending the military bombing.

The parliament has already approved to send fighter jets to fight against DAESH in Iraq, under the US-led military campaign.

Labour Party also called for support of moderate groups in Syria and humanitarian aid.

The bombing of Netherlands in Syria will end in June, ANP reported.

Yet the Socialist Party leader, Emile Roemer, opposed the Labour Party's decision, saying that it lacks a “sound political strategy.”

He said that the region needed humanitarian aid, and not more bombs.

Foreign military interventions are specifically sensitive 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.

The Dutch peacekeepers’ failure to perpetuate the UN-declared safe area status of Srebrenica has been seen a political dishonour in the Netherlands.

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

A previous Dutch government collapsed in 2010 over participation in military operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan, where 2,000 troops were active.

TRTWorld and agencies