All Dutch soldiers stationed in Iraq are safe and together in the northern city of Erbil, including the around 10 soldiers previously stationed in Baghdad, Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense said before the start of the Council of Ministers on Friday, NOS reports.
The Dutch government understands why the United States assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in an attack in Baghdad on Friday, but the attack did give rise to a much more complicated situation, Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said in the first episode of talk show Op1 on Monday night, NU.nl reports.
"If you look at what Iran has done and what Soleimani is, he is of course no saint. That was a real crook", Bijleveld said. According to the Defense Minister, Soleimani as the leader of the Shiite militias can be held responsible for "terrible" things that happened in Syria.
"The American people are constantly being lied to", is the conclusion of an institute that investigated whether American money for the war in Afghanistan is being well spent. Those involved knew from the start that the war could not be won. Dutch parliamentarians are flabbergasted and want to debate the matter with Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is attending a two-day NATO summit in London on Tuesday and Wednesday. The conference is already off to a rocky start, with American president Donald Trump clashing with French president Emmanuel Macron, and a number of sensitive topics still on the agenda.
The mayors of the municipalities of Veenendaal, De Bilt and Utrechtse Heuvelrug want the Ministry of Defense to take over some police duties to fill the gaps caused by the national shortage of police officers. They want soldiers to help with patrolling and security, the mayors intended to say in a motion during the members meeting of the Dutch municipalities association VNG, NOS reports.
Former Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert says that in 2015 she verbally informed then Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs about possible civilian deaths during a bombardment by Dutch F-16s in Iraq, and she may also have told Prime Minister Mark Rutte. She did not mention how many victims there were, only that there may have been civilian casualties, Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense said in a letter to parliament on Monday night, NOS reports.
Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense barely survived a motion of no confidence on Tuesday during a parliamentary debate on Dutch F-16 involvement in civilian casualties during two airstrikes in Hawija and Mosul in Iraq in 2015. A total of 74 people died in those airstrikes.
The Netherlands was involved in two airstrikes in Iraq in 2015 in which at least 74 people, including civilians, were killed, Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense confirmed in a letter to parliament. The Ministry of Defense was aware of civilian casualties from the start, but did not report them to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. This is the first time the Ministry released details bout air strikes carried out by Dutch F-16 fighter jets in the fight against terrorist organization ISIS, NOS reports.
Kasja Ollongren is temporarily stepping down as Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations and Deputy Prime Minister for health reasons. Complications arose after surgery on her sinuses. Raymond Knops, State Secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry, will take over as Minister until at least the Christmas holidays.
An airstrike by a Dutch F-16 on a car bomb factory in Iraq in 2015 left at least 70 civilians dead, NOS and NRC report based on their own research. This is the first study showing how many civilians were killed in Dutch bombings in the fight against terrorist organization Islamic State.
The bombing happened during the early hours of 3 June 2015. It completely destroyed a neighborhood in the Iraqi city of Hawija. It is considered one of the bloodiest attacks by the international coalition against ISIS, aimed at a military target.
A vast majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, support sanctions against Turkey following a Turkish invasion in northeastern Syria. The Dutch government is looking into a "wide range of measures" against Turkey, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade, standing in for Foreign Affairs Minister Stef Blok who is abroad, said in a parliamentary debate on the matter on Thursday, NOS reports.
A group of Dutchbat veterans who were at the fall of Srebrenica in 1995 are going to sue the Dutch State for sending the soldiers on an "impossible mission". They want a resolution including apologies and a symbolic amount in compensation, lawyer Micheal Ruperti confirmed to RTL Nieuws after a report by AD.
In the past five years, four soldiers left the Dutch armed forces due to right-wing extremist statements or behavior. Military intelligence service MIVD launched a total of 21 investigations into possible extremism in the armed forces, the vast majority of which involved suspicions of right-wing extremism, the Volkskrant reports based on a list the MIVD drew up after the newspaper appealed to the Intelligence and Security Services Act.
The Netherlands will not send ground troops to Syria, Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said on Friday. "There is no mandate for it, and Mr. Hoekstra knows that too." The Dutch government did not inform the United States embassy or government about this, US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra said to Nieuwsuur. "She didn't let me know personally", Hoekstra said to the program.
The 75th anniversary of D-Day, the allied invasion that helped liberate Europe from the Nazi occupation in 1944, is being commemorated in Britain and France this week. Prime Minister Mark Rutte attended the commemoration in the English Portsmouth on Wednesday. And Minster Ank Bijleveld of Defense attended commemorations in Normandy and Arromanches on Thursday.
The Netherlands remembered the victims of the Second World War with commemorations across the country on Saturday. King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte attended the National Commemoration in Amsterdam on Saturday evening. Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema stressed that the the lack of freedom during the war must be passed on so that it can be remembered "as if the war were yesterday. Even if no one remembers what it is like to live in an occupied country", Het Parool reports.
Over 20 thousand people are expected to attend the National Commemoration of Remembrance Day in Amsterdam on Saturday evening. Attendees include King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
An important American flag from the Second World War will be displayed in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam for two weeks, starting Monday. The D-Day flag flew on landing ship LCC 60 on 6 June 1944, the only landing ship that managed to reach Utah Beach during the Allied invasion of Normandy. According to experts, this is one of the most important objects of the invasion that is still in private hands, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch government has information that Russia developed a prohibited cruise missile, according to a letter written by Ministers Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense. It involves a SSC-8 missile that has a range of over 500 kilometers, which violates the INF treaty, NOS reports.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed in 1987 between the United States and Russia. It put an end to the Cold War. The treaty forbids the development of missiles with a range of more than 500 kilometers.
The Ministry of Defense is stepping up the fight against cyber attacks. In addition to investing more in fighting off cyber attacks, the Ministry also wants to deal with perpetrators more publicly as recently happened after a thwarted espionage attempt by the Russians on the OPCW in The Hague, ANP reports.
A broadly shared wish of Dutch parliamentarians to recover dozens of World War II aircraft wrecks with missing crew members, is one step closer. The government is launching an "national program" to recover these wrecks, Ministers Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense said in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
The Netherlands is the midst of a "cyber war" with Russia, Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said on television program WNL op Zondag. According to the Minister, a foiled cyber attack by the Russian secret service on chemical weapons watchdog OPCW shows that the nature of war has changed.
Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, said on Monday that the four Russian spies caught in The Hague in April was in the Netherlands for a routine trip. Russia denies that the secret service agents wanted to hack into chemical weapon watchdog OPCW, NU.nl reports.
Four Russian spies wanted to hack into the network of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC) on April 13th. Instead of being arrested and entering the Dutch system, they were deported to Moscow that same day. That decision was made by Onno Eichelsheim, director of military intelligence service MIVD. He wanted them out of the Netherlands as soon as possible, RTL Nieuws reports.