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.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is attending a two-day NATO summit in London on Tuesday and Wednesday. The conference is already off to a rocky start, with American president Donald Trump clashing with French president Emmanuel Macron, and a number of sensitive topics still on the agenda.
The Netherlands will not have to retrieve children of Dutch citizens awaiting their fates in Syrian detention and displacement camps, the kids of Dutch women who left the Netherlands to enter conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. The Appellate Court in The Hague overturned a lower court's ten-day old order on an emergency appeal filed on behalf of the Dutch government by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Security & Justice.
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."
A group of six people was being held in connection with raising at least 200 thousand euros in donations, much of which was allegedly distributed to help finance terrorism. Four men were arrested in the Netherlands, and two were taken into custody in Belgium, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said on Monday.
Donors were duped into thinking the money they contributed was being raised with a goal of "providing assistance to war victims," according to the OM. Instead, much of the money was distributed to ISIS fighters in Turkey and Syria in 2013 and 2014, the prosecution alleged.
Two Dutch women and three children escaped a Syrian prison camp in Al Hol and reported to the Dutch embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara with a request to return to the Netherlands, the government said in a letter to parliament on Thursday. "The women and children are currently in Turkish detention, awaiting prosecution and/or deportation by the Turkish authorities", the government wrote, NU.nl reports.
The military dog that helped track down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria on Saturday, was trained in the Netherlands. "I recognized him immediately", Marco van Hoof, director of Hondenadvies Centrum Nederland, said to Editie NL.
"I thought: I know him, that dog was here", Van Hoof said. The Belgian Shepherd trained at his location in Best, before being transported to America via Amsterdam. "With this as a result", Van Hoof said. "It is a male of five years old. He is a very good dog."
The Public Prosecutor submitted a list of 29 suspected Dutch jihadists that it wants to bring back from Syria to the Netherlands to face justice, the Ministry of Justice and Security confirmed to NRC. That is a significant increase from the 10 requests submitted earlier this year.
The Dutch cabinet and European leaders should be cautiously pleased that a deal has been reached between the U.K. and the European Union over remaining Brexit issues, said Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands. “Now we have to study the details,” he told broadcaster NOS.
On the surface “it is very encouraging. We are very happy about it.”
A scientist at the University of Amsterdam is under fire because she rejected a Turkish student for an internship due to the Turkish offensive in Syria. In response to the student's application, the scientist said that she is "not inviting Turkish students at this time" due to the situation in Syria, AD reports.
A demonstration against the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria in Rotterdam on Wednesday evening got completely out of hand. Protesters and counter protesters clashed multiple times. Three police officers were injured. A total of 23 of protesters were arrested, the Rotterdam police said on Twitter.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs called his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavusoglu on Monday to make clear that the Dutch government condemns Turkey's invasion of northeastern Syria, he said in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
Blok asked Minister Çavusoglu to stop Turkish operations in the area and called his attention "to the need to monitor camps" where ISIS jihadists are detained. He also asked Çavusoglu to address the humanitarian need in the area.
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 relationship between the Netherlands and the United States has "cooled down" and "soured" according to Dutch diplomats and diplomatic experts. "There is declining confidence, I hear at the top of Dutch diplomacy", diplomatic expert Robert van de Roer said to RTL Nieuws. "Behind the scenes you hear: America is not America anymore."
Turkey's invasion of northern Syria last week, resulted in protests against Turkey and its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Netherlands over the weekend. A planned protest on the Malieveld in The Hague drew around 3 thousand protesters. A spontaneous protest at Amsterdam Central Station attracted around 75 demonstrators.
The Hague demonstrators marched through the city, passing the Turkish embassy, on Saturday afternoon. They carried signs aimed at Erdogan, and shouted slogans like "Erdogan terrorist, Erdogan murderer", according to Trouw.
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.
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.
A Syrian man who was caught spying in Germany for the Syrian state security service must be deported from the Netherlands, where he applied for asylum, the court in Middelburg ruled. He is also banned from entering the Netherlands for ten years, NU.nl reports.
The man came through Germany to the Netherlands in 2017. His wife and children were already in the Netherlands and he came to join them. According to the court, during his stay in Germany, the man passed information about Syrian opposition members residing in Germany to the Syrian security service.
An 11-year-old Dutch girl was brought to the Netherlands from Syria on Friday, the Dutch Red Cross, which played an important role in the child's recovery, confirmed to NU.nl after reports in NOS.
Four young kids abducted from The Hague by their father last month, are now staying at their parents' old home in Raqqa, Syria, according to their mother Rasha Saleh. She desperately wants to go and get them back, but she doesn't dare to. "He wants me to come by so he can kill me", the 28-year-old mother said to Omroep West.
Four young children were abducted from The Hague by their father last month, the police announced on Thursday. The police believe the father took them to Syria.
The missing person reports for 2-year-old Tala, 3-year-old Sharifa, 5-year-old Berivan, and 7-year-old Hain Ahmad state that their father picked the two younger kids up from school under "false pretenses" on June 21st. He then picked up the two older children and they haven't been seen since. It is believed that he took them to Syria.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte will meet with United States president Donald Trump in the White House for the second time this evening. During the meeting, Rotterdam collector Bert Kreuk will hand Trump a D-Day flag he is donating to the United States. The main topic on the agenda for Rutte and Trump is trade, though Trump will likely also bring up the U.S. request to allies for a military contribution in Syria and to increase pressure on Iran, NOS reports.
Children of Dutch jihadists will be placed in a special shelter when they return to the Netherlands. There they will be observed and counseled 24 hours per day to determine whether they pose a danger to society, newspaper AD reported on Friday.
According to the newspaper, older children will be placed in this shelter, where they will be kept isolated - they will not stay with other children. Kids under the age of 9 will also be examined and their mental state assessed upon their return to the Netherlands, NU.nl writes.