Dutch F-16s take flight over Iraq

Enduring Freedom
Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon over Afghanistan, May 28, 2008. (Photo: Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway/Wikimedia). (Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon over Afghanistan, May 28, 2008. (Photo: Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway/Wikimedia))

Two teams of two Netherlands military F-16 fighter jets took part in missions over Iraq this past weekend. It marks the first Dutch mission in the country's involvement in an international fight against ISIS, the separatist movement and rogue army fighting in Syria and Iraq.

No weapons were used by the Dutch fighter pilots, a defense ministry spokesman told Trouw, but the pilots demonstrated their ability to provide support to forces on the ground.

The first bombing missions involving the Netherlands are expected to begin this week, Colonel Onno Eichelsheim said on television show Nieuwsuur. The jets are to be used in attacks on arms depots, military equipment, and warehouses. They will also be used to help defend the positions of ground troops.

The Dutch complement of 380 military personnel will be at full strength beginning today. This includes 250 men and women working with the Royal Netherlands Air Force fighter jets, and another 130 troops to train and advice Kurdish and Iraqi forces.

The Netherlands has not approved the country's military to take part in missions in Syria.

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