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 Dutch F-16 pilot who in 2015 dropped a bomb on a Mosul home, that turned out to be a family home instead of ISIS headquarters as military information indicated, felt physically sick when he found out that he had killed four members of a family, instead of members of the terrorist organization, he said to the Telegraaf.
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.
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.
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 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.
Wednesday marks the final day of the Dutch F-16 fighter jet missions targeting IS. The Netherlands announced the decision on Monday, saying the six F-16s and two spare units need to be "available for various rapidly deployable units and NATO."
The Dutch Air Force deployed two F-16 fighter jets to escort a KLM flight to Schiphol on Saturday after a 29-year-old American on board the flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam became aggressive. The man was overpowered by the KLM cabin crew and other passengers, RTL Nieuws reports.
The American man lost it when a purser told him to sit down, according to the broadcaster. He started punching everyone around him. Several passengers sustained minor injuries. One, who was hit several times, pressed charges against the man.
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.
Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense thinks that two Russian bombers intercepted by Belgian F-16s just before entering Dutch airspace on Monday, were meant to scare, provoke or test Russia's West-European rivals, she said to the Telegraaf.
Belgian F-16 jets intercepted two Russian bombers over the North Sea on Monday just before the Russian planes entered Dutch airspace, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense confirmed to NU.nl. The Russian bombers were heading towards the United Kingdom, AD reports.
Six Dutch F-16 fighter jets, supported by a team of 150 people, were deployed this week to the Middle East as part of the international fight against terrorist organization ISIS. The jets departed from the Volkel Air Base on Wednesday morning, and will be stationed at an air base in Jordan.
Two loud bangs caused some panic in Zeeland around 10:15 p.m. on Monday night. According to the police, a large number of people called emergency line 112. The bangs were caused by two F-16 fighter jets breaking the sound barrier on their way to intercept a passenger plane that did not contact air traffic control.
NATO is joining the coalition fighting against terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the 28 NATO member states decided on Wednesday. The Netherlands will contribute two planes to the fight against Islamic State this year, Ministers Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert announced.
Wail el A., the convicted jihadist from Arnhem arrested for taking pictures at the Volkel military air base last week, was only taking selfies with the fighter jets, his lawyer Francoise Landerloo said to AD. He had no idea that he was doing anything wrong. Others from his work team also took pictures, the lawyer said.
King Willem-Alexander paid a surprise visit to the 200 Dutch troops in Jordan on Thursday, the government information service announced.
Dutch fighter jets were involved in ten different bombing missions against ISIS military targets last week, including locations in Syria. It is the first time the Netherlands permitted Dutch F-16s to join missions in Syria.
The Court of Auditors wants clarification from Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on how she plans to manage the possibly higher costs involved in the purchase of the new JSF-jets due to fluctuations in the euro-dollar exchange rate, the court wrote in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament
The purchase of the Joint Strike Fighter jets may be more than half a billion euros more expensive than expected. According to the new estimates, the project will cost over 5.2 billion euros, 550 million euros more than the previous estimate. Higher sales tax adds another 75 million euros.
A new video shot from a Dutch F-16 fighter jet shows the Netherlands pilot engaged in a combat simulation dogfight with an American F-15 fighter. The video was published by the Netherlands Ministry of Defense earlier on Tuesday, and takes place in the skies above the North Sea.
The Netherlands defense chief said Thursday that Dutch F-16s "have several times supported" a ground offensive against Islamic State (IS) rebel fighters in Tikrit, reports de Telegraaf. Iraqi troops seized the city last week.
The Netherlands has confirmed its decision to purchase eight F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters that will arrive in the country in 2019, the Ministry of Defense announced today. The deal was signed in Washington DC last night.
The D66 will vote against the purchase of 8 new Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) to replace the F-16's in the debate about it this afternoon, NOS reports. According to D66 parliamentarian Wassila Hachchi, there are too many uncertainties surrounding the purchase.
Dutch F-16s flying over Iraq in the fight against ISIS took on damage during missions when they were fired upon by jihadists. The damage was not substantial enough to force the planes down, and all have landed safely, said General Tom Middendorp, Chief of Defense in the Netherlands.