General: Dutch F-16s should attack ISIS in Syria
General Tom Middendorp thinks that it would be logical that the Dutch F-16's not only fight ISIS over Iraq, but also over Syria. According to him, there is "little chance of a solution" if the terrorist organization is not also addressed in its "safe harbor".
The commander of the armed forces said this to NRC on Friday. According to Middendorp, several countries are asking the question of whether there is any sense in only fighting over Iraq. "Does it have sense if we do not tackle the source of the misery?" he said to the newspaper.
Middendorp said there are military technical arguments to take away the mission's restrictions. "But we have to examine what the knock-on effects thereof will be. That homework has not been done yet."
Dutch F-16's have been performing airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq for months. Dutch soldiers also help with training Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces. To date the Dutch government has not gotten involved in any military actions in Syria due to the lack of an international mandate.
In May Minister Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert of Defense called it "crucial" that ISIS is not only fought in Iraq, but also in Syria. “Undoubtedly Syria will again be discussed in talks in the near future. I’m not saying no right away. From the beginning I have said that the door isn’t locked, but we continue to watch the situation”, Hennis said.