At least 60 people have come forward to claim damages from the Dutch state for a bombing carried out by Dutch F-16s in Iraq in 2015 that destroyed a neighborhood of Hawija. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld is preparing a claim for compensation for the victims. She expects that the number of claimants will still increase, she said to Trouw.
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.
KLM is no longer flying over Iraq and Iran as a precaution after Iran's retaliation attack on American targets in Iraq, a KLM spokesperson said to NU.nl on Wednesday. Depending on their destination, flights will detour to the north or the south.
News agency AFP reports that Air France stopped flying over the two countries.
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 Netherlands is temporarily suspending its training mission in Northern Iraq, the Ministry of Defense announced on Monday. The commander of the international coalition in the fight against terrorist organization ISIS decided to suspend all training activities in Iraq. The soldiers of the anti-ISIS coalition, including the Dutch soldiers, will remain stationed in the country, NOS reports.
The international coalition in the fight against terrorist organization ISIS decided to partly halt a mission to train Iraqi soldiers, in which Dutch soldiers are also involved, after a resolution in which the Iraqi parliament voted against the military presence of other countries in Iraq. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is studying the resolution and is in consultation with the other countries in the anti-ISIS resolution, the Ministry said to NOS.
In response to a drone attack by the United States on a Baghdad airport, killing an Iranian military leader, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the events unfolding in Iraq are "worrying and serious." The attack happened weeks before the Dutch military was to send a frigate and helicopter to help patrol the Strait of Hormuz, which the U.S. requested months ago.
A group of Dutch women currently trapped in detention- and refugee camps in Syria are turning to the Supreme Court in a final attempt to force the Netherlands to help bring their children and themselves back to the country. In cassation, their lawyers hope to show that the court cannot force them to be abandoned to their fate in Syrian detention, AD 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.
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."
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.
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 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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.