Netherlands joins military mission against IS in Iraq

Netherlands joins military mission against IS in Iraq

96The Hague, Sep 25 (IANS) The Dutch government Wednesday said that it will send a military mission to fight the Islamic State (IS) Sunni radical group in Iraq.

“The Dutch contribution to the international mission is aimed at breaking the military strength and advance of IS,” Xinhua quoted a cabinet letter as saying.

“Netherlands will deploy six F-16 fighter aircrafts that can carry out military actions in Iraq. The aircraft will be located at a site to be determined outside Iraq, probably Jordan,” Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said.

The F-16s will be deployed to destroy camps, command posts and other targets of IS with precision weapons. They can also assist Kurdish and Iraqi fighters on the ground by providing air support.

“The rapid rise of IS and its affiliated organisations pose a direct threat to the region and causes instability on the borders of Europe, with potentially far-reaching implications for our own security,” the Cabinet letter said.

In Syria, the mission is limited to humanitarian and diplomatic help because for military action a mandate is needed under international law in the form of a UN resolution. In Iraq, this is not necessary since that country has requested for military support itself.

The Dutch effort is part of the strategy of a large group of countries, including countries in the region, at the initiative of the United States. The government now clarified the Dutch contribution in view of the planning process in the United States.

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