R E P O R T : Netherlands May Send F-16 Fighters, Weapons to Iraq to Combat IS

10:17:00 PM
MOSCOW, -- The Netherlands could use F-16 fighter aircraft and send arms to Iraqi Kurds in order to fight the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, active in Iraq and Syria, local media reported Thursday.

An unspecified number of the Netherland Air Force F-16 fighters may take part in operations against Sunni extremists in Iraq and possibly in Syria, The Trouw, a Dutch newspaper, said as quoted by Reuters. Dutch ministers will reportedly discuss the possibility of taking military action against the IS militants on Friday, during a Cabinet session.
The reports have not specified which kind of weapons Amsterdam may supply to the Iraqi Kurds.

Addressing September's NATO summit in Wales, US President Barack Obama did not include the Netherlands in the US-led "core coalition" of nations aiming to eliminate the IS threat. Dutch media have reported the country's Prime Minister Mark Rutte was surprised to not find the Netherlands among the coalition nations voiced by Obama. Amsterdam has already supplied non-lethal aid including 1,000 helmets and bulletproof vests to northern Iraq.

The IS Sunni group has proclaimed an Islamic caliphate on the territories it controls across Iraq and Syria. The insurgents" advance in northern Iraq has led to Washington carrying out anti-IS airstrikes and drone attacks since August. In September, US President Obama went further by proclaiming an international coalition to fight the terrorists and stressing he would not stop from sanctioning airstrikes in Syria.



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