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.
Over 600 soldiers and veterans are pressing charges of inciting hatred, insult and defamation against DENK parliamentarian Selcuk Ozturk. The pro-diversity parliamentarian described the civilian casualties of Dutch F-16 airstrikes in the fight against terrorist organization ISIS in 2015 as "murder" during a parliamentary debate on the matter on Tuesday, Hart van Nederland reports.
Dutch soldiers are going to provide aid in the Bahamas. The island group was hit hard by Hurricane Dorian. The core tasks of the mission Disaster Relief Bahamas will be to help clean up the massive destruction left by the hurricane and to support aid organizations and the local population where needed, commander Ad van de Sande said to newspaper AD.
The partners of Dutch fighter pilots who were active in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in 2017, were harassed at home during this period. They received repeated, unpleasant phone calls from people with a Russian accent who asked whether their men should not rather leave the area, among other things, the Telegraaf reports.
Military intelligence service MIVD told the newspaper that it is familiar with this practice, but would not say anything further about it.
The Ministry of Defense suspended a sergeant major because he has links with outlaw motorcycle gangs. This is the first time that Defense suspended an employee because of links to biker gangs, according to NOS.
The Dutch military training mission in Iraq was suspended due to an increased threat in the region. The nature of the threat is unknown. The commander of the international coalition that coordinates training in the region ordered the mission to stop, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense said to NU.nl.
This temporary halt applies to all international allies who provide training in the area. Some 50 to 60 Dutch soldiers were ordered to cease their work "until further notice" due to an increased threat.
Dutchbat soldiers who were stationed at the headquarters in Potocari during the Bosnian civil war in 1994 and 1995 are pressing attempted aggravated assault charges against the Ministry of Defense because they were exposed to toxic substances, EenVandag reports.
The Dutchbat headquarters were located in an old battery factory in the Bosnian village, near Srebrenica. According to the soldiers, the factory contained, among other things, asbestos, chemicals and a vat with a "nuclear" warning on it."
The Defense Inspectorate launched investigations into two serious accidents at the Ministry of Defense, the Inspectorate said on its website.
The first incidents concerns a "serious injury to a soldier". The soldier was hurt during training at the Brigade Special Security Command in Huis ter Heide in October 2017.
The second investigation involves a F-16 fighter jet at the air base in Leeuwarden. The aircraft sustained "considerable damage" during shooting practice on the training ground for fighter aircraft on Vleiland on January 21st this year.
The Ministry of Defense deployed 100 soldiers to assist in cleaning up sea containers and their content that washed ashore on the Wadden Islands. Some 270 containers fell from cargo ship MSC Zoe near Germany during the early hours of Wednesday morning. Around 35 containers washed ashore on the Wadden Islands. Friesland and Groningen on the mainland also found containers and their content, NU.nl reports.
The soldiers will start cleaning up the beaches on the Wadden Islands on Friday. Some soldiers had to come back from their Christmas holidays to help, according to the newspaper.
A Dutch soldier was arrested at a night club on Curacao on Saturday night. He was caught with cocaine in his possession. The 24-year-old man was transferred to the Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military, ANP reports.
The soldier in question worked as a sailor on the ship Zr. MS. Zeeland. The ship arrived in Curacao last week to combat drug trafficking at sea.
The Ministry of Defense has a zero tolerance policy on hard drugs. Soldiers caught with hard drugs face immediate dismissal.
The Public Prosecutor is prosecuting three soldiers for their involvement in a fatal diving accident on Curacao in 2015, in which a 23-year-old woman was killed. They are accused of violating service regulations and thereby creating a "life-threatening situation", the Prosecutor announced on Monday.
The soldiers facing prosecution are two men, aged 44 and 51 years, and a 49-year-old woman. They are all members of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
The association for Dutch veterans that fought in the Korean war VOKS wants Prime Minister Mark Rutte to try and get the remains released of five Dutch soldiers who went missing or were killed in North Korea. "Only then can their family finally say goodbye to their loved ones in a dignified way", VOKS wrote in a letter to the Dutch Prime Minister, the Telegraaf reports.
The government plans to put an end to the Netherlands' contribution to the the UN military mission in Mali, sources told RTL Nieuws. There are currently 250 Dutch soldiers in the African country.
No Dutch soldiers will be prosecuted for bombings by the anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq and East Syria in which civilians were killed, the Public Prosecutor decided. The Dutch soldiers did not break the law of war, the the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs wrote in a letter to parliament, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Public Prosecutor investigated four incidents. In none of these incidents did the Dutch soldiers break the law of war, the Ministers wrote.
Three soldiers accused of various forms of misconduct at the Airmobile Brigade barracks in Scaarsbergen, filed a complaint against State Secretary Barbara Visser of Defense. They believe the State Secretary already publicly condemned them, despite the investigation still being ongoing, AD reports.
Decorated Dutch soldier Marco Kroon says that he had no choice but to kill a man while on a secret mission in Afghanistan in 2017. He was previously captured and tortured by the man he eventually killed, he said in an interview with newspaper AD. "It was him or me."
Kroon was previously captured by the man and was tortured for information, he said to the newspaper. According to him, he did not reveal anything. After he was released for unknown reasons, he went looking for the man because Kroon wanted to prevent the man endangering the mission.
The Netherlands' mission in Afghanistan is being hindered by security issues, newspaper AD reports after visiting the Dutch soldiers on the mission with the new Commander of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant Admiral Rob Bauer. Soldiers who advise the local police officers often can't leave their base, there are too few security guards to accompany the advisors and some of them speak very little English, according to the newspaper.
Bored soldiers at the Oranje barracks in Schaarsbergen regularly entertained themselves with drugs, alcohol and even prostitutes, according to a confidential Defense report from 2015, which the Volkskrant has in its possession.
According to the report, soldiers also damaged or stole considerable amounts of Defense equipment, held 'informal hazing', and there was a high risk of bullying, exclusion and inappropriate sexual behavior.
State Secretary Barbara Visser of Defense calls on victims of abuses in the Dutch armed forces to come forward, following a report in the Volkskrant about three soldiers who left their unit in Schaarsbergen after being assaulted, bullied, abused and even raped. "Unacceptable. I read the article and had chills. This is not worthy of Defense", the State Secretary said to ANP.
Three Dutch soldiers left their unit in Schaarsbergen in 2014 because they were assaulted, bullied, extorted, abused and one was raped, the Volkskrant reports. Some of these incidents happened during hazing. Four soldiers from the same unit were punished. One of the victims filed a police declaration about the incidents two weeks ago, according to the newspaper.
The Ministry of Defense is recalling anti-tank ammunition and smoke grenades from the UN mission in Mali. Inspections done following a damaging report by the Dutch Safety Board about an accidental mortar grenade explosion that killed two Dutch soldiers, showed that these two types of ammunition were also stored at too high temperatures and may not be safe.
Sint Eustatius politician Clyde van Putten apologized for threatening to kill Dutch soldiers in a speech he made last week. Van Putten said that his previous comments were reprehensible and that he does not want to call for violence. Though he added that his comments were taken out of context by people "with a political agenda" to damage his reputation, NOS reports.
The Dutch government was fully aware that hijackers would be killed during a military action that put an end to a hostage situation on a train near De Punt in 1977, two former soldiers who were involved in the action told the Volkskrant on Monday. According to the two soldiers, wounded hijackers were unnecessarily executed and the government gave the instructions for, and approved, the attack.
Clyde van Putten, leader of political party PLP on the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius, threatened to kill and and burn Dutch soldiers in a speech he made on the island. The Dutch government is going to file a declaration with the police against him, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations announced, the Telegraaf reports