Iraq

Refugee camp in Idlib, Syria
Nov 11 '19 14:01

A court in Den Haag ordered the Netherlands to quickly bring 56 children of Dutch parents back to the country from Syrian detention and displacement camps. The case was filed on behalf of 23 mothers living in the camps.

In its verdict, the court noted that "the children have not chosen to go to Syria or to stay in Syria. They are sitting there now because their parents have chosen to travel to the Caliphate and join IS."

Islamic State, IS, ISIS attack in Iraq, Kurdistan.
Nov 8 '19 15:50

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok came out against his fellow conservative VVD party members on Friday, saying he was opposed to any suggestion that Dutch people who joined ISIS should receive capital punishment in Iraq. Some MPs in the party, which is led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, said that Dutch enemy combatants should face trial in Iraq where they would be eligible for the death penalty.

"That can be the ultimate consequence," said Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, a VVD parliamentarian, according to the ANP newswire.

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Nov 5 '19 11:50

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.

Dutch Air Force F-16 in the Middle East
Nov 4 '19 14:30

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.

Dutch Air Force F-16 in the Middle East
Oct 18 '19 12:40

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.

Children in a refugee camp
Oct 15 '19 12:10

The conservative VVD party is willing to discuss retrieving the children of Dutch jihadists from Syria and bringing them back to the Netherlands, but only if their parents do not come with them, parliamentarian Dilan Yesilgoz said on television show Pauw. Up until now the party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte always outright refused to negotiate on this topic.

"When it comes to children, that of course also affects me. Especially if they are small children", VVD MP Yesilgoz said on the television program. "They didn't choose this themselves."

Stef Blok
Sep 26 '19 07:46

The Netherlands and Iraq are looking into whether jihadists who fought for terrorist organizations like ISIS can be tried in the Middle Eastern country. Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is advocating for a separate international tribunal to try foreign rebel fighters in the Syrian civil war, NRC reports.

Dutch passport
Sep 24 '19 08:47

Five persons recently officially regained their Dutch nationality, according to a decision published in the Staatscourant on Monday. These persons' Dutch nationality was previously revoked because they joined terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq, NOS reports.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Security could not confirm to NU.nl that the five persons involved are or were indeed jihadists. 

A Koninklijke Marechaussee officer and sniffer dog
Aug 8 '19 09:20

The Koninklijke Marechaussee found a total of 23 migrants hiding in trucks at Hoek van Holland on Tuesday. Two truck drivers were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, the Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for border security, said on Facebook.

Simba
Jul 12 '19 14:30

A weak and seriously neglected lion offered for sale at a market in Baghdad, Iraq early this year, is getting a second chance in the Netherlands. Thanks to the intervention of two Dutch persons, and after months of negotiations, lion Simba is heading to the lion sanctuary in Anna Paulowna, RTL Nieuws reports. 

Dutch soldiers with Minimi-light machine guns
Jul 1 '19 13:40

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.

Police at the scene of a mass shooting on 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht, 18 March 2019
Jun 24 '19 16:45

There is a very real concern in the Netherlands regarding potential terror attacks, particularly from ISIS recruits and jihadists, right-wing extremists, and radical activists, according to Dutch counter-terror office NCTV. Because of this, the terror threat level in the country remains high, with holding at 4 out of a maximum of 5 in the terrorism threat assessment published by the NCTV on Monday.

Still_smiling_despite_the_hardship_they_face_(11174085546)
May 17 '19 10:20

The Netherlands must "show grace and mercy" and bring back the children of Dutch jihadists in Iraq and Syria as quickly as possible, the special UN envoy for Children in Armed Conflicts, Virginia Gamba, said during a visit to The Hague on Thursday. The fact that these kids and their mothers are now just left to their fates is not only inhumane, but also contrary to international children's rights, she said, Het Parool reports.

Dutch soldiers training local security forces in Iraq
May 16 '19 10:10

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. 

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Jan 25 '19 09:09

The man convicted of murdering 96-year-old 'oma Toni' in Amsterdam's De Pijp in 2015, is now fighting his deportation to his home country of Iraq.  After his conviction, the Dutch immigration and naturalization service IND revoked his residency permit, NOS reports.

Dutch Air Force F-16 in the Middle East
Jan 2 '19 18:16

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."

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Nov 6 '18 08:01

The Netherlands has approximately 500 jihadists and several thousand sympathizers of jihadist ideology, general intelligence service AIVD said in a report published on Monday. "They pose a potential threat. The threshold for committing an attack in the name of Islamic State or Al Qaeda seems to have decreased", the AIVD said, NU.nl reports.

Faud Hussein meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Erbil, Iraq, 24 Jun 2014
Oct 25 '18 09:29

Iraq's new government has a Dutch touch. The new Minister of Finance, Faud Hussein, lived in the Netherlands for years. He fled Iraq in the 1970s, studied at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, married a Dutch woman, and worked for other refugees. He speaks fluent Dutch, NOS reports.

Early this month Hussein, member of the Kurdish democratic party PUK, also made a run for the presidency. But Barham Salih of the same party received the most votes in parliament.

Police guard in a detention center
Jul 9 '18 10:30

At least six Dutch women who went to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq asked the Dutch courts to have them arrested. They are currently in Kurdish camps with 11 Dutch children, and hope to be able to return to the Netherlands in this way, AD reports.

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Jun 15 '18 14:10

Two brothers from Utrecht and a woman from Alphen aan den Rijn were arrested on for financing terrorism. They sent money to three men suspected of joining terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq. The three jihadists are the brothers of the two Utrecht men, and the woman used to date one of them, NOS reports.

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Jun 6 '18 08:11

A 22-year-old Dutch woman is in prison in the Kurdish part of Iraq along with her 5-month old baby and her father. The Kurdish authorities suspect the woman of terrorism, the family's lawyer Taner Sen confirmed to RTL Nieuws after reports by NOS.

According to the lawyer, the woman and her father will appear before a judge on Wednesday.

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May 25 '18 10:40

A Dutch person in custody in Iraq is serving an 8 years long prison sentence for terrorism. When exactly this person was sentenced is not known, ANP reports.

On Wednesday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that one Dutch person is in custody in Iraq, but revealed no further details about it. He is receiving consular assistance for the Dutch consulate in the Iraqi-Kurdish city of Arbil, according to the Ministry.

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May 24 '18 07:30

One Dutch person is in custody in Iraq on suspicion of terrorism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to Nieuwsuur. As far as the Ministry knows, there are no other cases against Dutch in the country. Whether the Dutch person is male or female, is unclear.

Thousands of people are in custody in Iraq on suspicion of terrorism. On Tuesday a Belgian jihadist was sentenced to death in Baghdad for belonging to a terrorist organization. His hearing lasted only 10 minutes, according to Nieuwsuur.

Lebanon-Syria_border_sep13VOA_03
May 16 '18 08:43

The Dutch government is looking into whether children of Dutch jihadists can be removed from camps in Syria, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said on television program Pauw. "The children have to leave. They should not be in a camp there", he said, according to RTL Nieuws.

The Minister is working with the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security to investigate how the children can be brought out of the camps in a safe manner. "It is an extremely difficult matter", Grapperhaus said. "I find it terribly wrong that children are in these areas."

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