Published On: Thu, Sep 25th, 2014

The Netherlands has agreed to participate in military combat against IS

Orange f 16WILLEMSTAD, THE HAGUE – The fight against the terrorist group IS is now closer to our doors. The Council of Ministers of the Netherlands has agreed to participate in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq.

The Netherlands agreed to send six F-16s, 250 soldiers and 130 trainers to assist the United States of  America halt the rise of the IS in Iraq, but will not be militarily involved in Syria. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Lodewijk Asscher, there is no agreement on a mandate under international law for military operations in Syria.

“For military support in the war in Iraq, no UN resolution is needed because the Iraqi authorities have asked for assistance from the international community. Syria is different,” Asscher said.

Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said the Dutch jets will likely be based in Jordan. Their mission initially will be for up to a year.

Asscher acknowledged that the Dutch role in the fight against Islamic State brings risks not only to the troops and pilots involved, but also at home.

"The Netherlands will gain a higher profile among jihadis. We are ready," Asscher said. "The threat profile is monitored permanently and our security services are prepared."

The terror threat level in the Netherlands is currently "substantial," the second highest of four levels used by the country's anti-terror coordinator.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, called for support for organizations documenting human rights abuses in Syria, so that perpetrators can eventually be brought to justice.

"These crimes are being committed now, so we have to talk to witnesses and Syrian refugees who have managed to flee the country," Timmermans said in a statement. "You can gather a huge amount of information. That is the only way to ensure that criminals do not avoid their punishment."

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