THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Dutch government is extending by a year its contribution to the international coalition fighting the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and to a United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the decision Friday after his Cabinet meeting, saying it was necessary because of "ongoing unrest and instability in regions bordering Europe."
The Netherlands has four F-16 fighter jets taking part in a campaign of air strikes against IS fighters in Iraq and 130 troops training the Iraqi army. Their mandate has been extended to October 2016. The 450-strong Dutch contribution to the U.N. force attempting to keep the peace in Mali has been extended to the end of 2016.
In March, two Dutch peacekeepers were killed in a helicopter crash during exercises in Mali.