Dutch troops safe after ISIS attacks
ISIS launched an attack against the Kurdish army last night in northern Iraq, only 45 kilometers away from Erbil where some 100 Dutch troops are stationed. The Kurds were able to repel the attack, thus keeping the Dutch troops safe, AD reports.
The about 100 Dutch troops left for Erbil this week on a training mission. Their camp is near the Erbil airport, from where the soldiers go to various location to give their training. According to Defense spokesperson Jos van der Leij, the troops are there to train Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.
The fighting last night happened in the cities of Gwer and Makhmour, about 45 kilometers southwest of Erbil. The Kurdish army eventually managed to repel the ISIS attack with help from the air support from the international coalition against ISIS. There were victims on both sides.
According to Van der Leij, the Dutch troops were not in danger during the attack because the fighting was still too far away. The locations where the Dutch troop provide their training is also still safe. Jean Debbie, president of the military union VBM, also isn't very concerned. According to him, the Iraqi army is primarily responsible for the safety of the Dutch trainers and they can call on the coalition partners for help in an emergency situation. The Dutch soldiers are also armed to defend themselves in extreme situations.