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.
Dutch military intelligence service MIVD prevented a hacking operation by Russian secret service G.U. aimed at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC), Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense announced at a press conference in The Hague on Thursday. The G.U. tried to hack the OPWC on April 13th. Four involved Russian officers were deported from the Netherlands that same day, NOS reports.
The Public Prosecutor is dropping an investigation into decorated soldier Marco Kroon, who said that he killed a man who abducted him while on a mission in Afghanistan. The investigation has yet to provide a definitive answer, but there are insufficient leads to confirm whether or not what Kroon reported actually happened, the Public Prosecutor said on Thursday, NOS reports.
On Thursday King Willem-Alexander took a ride on a hybrid quad bike at military test site Fieldlab Smarbase in Soesterberg. The motorized four-wheeler runs on fuel and electricity, AD reports.
The King visited the test site with Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense. The King and Minister watched demonstrations of innovative products and designs, including the hybrid quad and several robots.
The prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster is the first subject Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will discuss with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Moscow on Friday. The Dutch Minister will also ask Russia to contribute to stopping the conflict in Syria, first of all by making a cease fire possible so that humanitarian aid can get to the people in the war-torn country, NOS reports.
The Dutch government is examining possibilities for adjusting the Netherlands' contribution to the military mission in Afghanistan. Exactly what changes will be made is not yet clear, the Telegraaf reports.
The Netherlands has around 100 soldiers in Afghanistan for advisory work that forms part of the mission Resolute Support. On Wednesday Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld spoke with her American counterpart James Mattis in Washington. Mattis again asked Bijleveld to deploy more soldiers to the Afghanistan mission.
Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense understands why the United States is threatening military action in Syria following what is believed to be a poison gas attack in Douma. "If diplomatic, economical and political measures are insufficient, the Netherlands understands a proportional military action in Syria", she said to Nieuwsuur.