May 15, 2016

Dutch F-16s have so far struck ISIL four times

The Netherlands’ F-16 stationed in Jordan participated in seven missions over Syria in the past three months. The Dutch fighter jets dropped bombs on ISIS targets four times during those missions, Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert wrote in response to questions from Parliament, ANP reports.

Parliamentarians wanted exact information about Dutch participation in the anti-ISIS fight following reports that DUtch F-16’s are hardly ever deployed over Syria because they are not equipped with satellite communication systems.

According to Hennis, this is nonsense. The Netherlands is not the only country whose F-16’s are not equipped with satellite communication systems. And it is in any case no obstacle for deployment, she wrote. “With each deployment the commander takes into account the capabilities of the resources they can use”, Hennis wrote. She added that the vast majority of missions are in Iraq, not Syria.

The Minister did add that the Ministry is investigating whether the Dutch F-16’s should be equipped with satellite communications later this year, but this is separate from the mission in the Middle East.

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