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Dutch to join US-led airstrikes against ISIS in Syria

The Dutch government said it plans to join the US-led coalition targeting ISIS

Published: Updated:

The Dutch government said Friday it plans to join the U.S.-led coalition targeting militant group in Syria with airstrikes.

The Dutch have for months been carrying out air raids in neighboring Iraq using four F-16 jets, but have balked at extending the mission to Syria.

But after requests from the United States and France, Rutte's two-party coalition government on Friday decided to broaden the jets' mandate to eastern Syria.

"We will have our F-16s be more efficiently deployed by also having them be active in the Syrian part of the conflict, particularly hitting, for example, training centers and other facilities which will replenish the capacity of ISIL to be active in the Iraqi side of the conflict," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, using an alternative acronym for the militant group.

Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said the decision means the coalition will "make more progress" against ISIS.

The Cabinet has sent a letter outlining Friday's' decision to Parliament where it will likely be discussed in coming days. A majority of Dutch legislators supports airstrikes in Syria.