NL will back US against ISIS with F-16's

Minister Frans Timmermans has announced that The Netherlands will be prepared to offer heavy military equipment to America's fight against IS. Timmermans emphasizes that there needs to be a direct request for this from the Americans, as well as a concrete plan, de Volkskrant reports. 

US President Barack Obama yesterday announced his plan for a new 'War on Terror', in which he has threatened that the US "will not hesitate" to deploy strong military action against the Islamic State (IS) "wherever they are", pointing to new military action in Syria, on top of their existent presence in Iraq.

Foreign Minister Timmermans said in the Cabinet yesterday that military action is crucial against the terrorist organization, and says that The Netherlands will be prepared to offer aid in the form of F-16's and fuel tankers.

During his speech, Timmermans also dispelled rumors that The Netherlands was kept out of the 'coalition of the willing' on purpose. He said that the room at the NATO summit in Wales in which the so-called coalition was discussing the plans, with Obama at the helm, was simply too small to house the representatives of all the 28 NATO member states. The countries that were in the room didn't necessarily commit themselves, the Minister says, and the countries outside the room did not per se rule anything out.

Minister Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert of Defense tells de Volkskrant that The Netherlands has sufficient military means to provide beneficial aid, but there is no concrete planning yet. She says it may take several weeks to establish what is precisely required.

President Obama in his address also emphasized that there would be support to Arabic states to help in the fight against IS. De Volkskrant writes that the Kurds explicitly asked The Netherlands for weapons and F-16's on Wednesday. "The Netherlands has to train and arm our peshmerga fighters and preferably press IS with bombs as well", Kurdish Member of Parliament Soran Omar says.

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