Security concerns for peacekeepers

21st November 2003, Comments 0 comments

21 November 2003 , AMSTERDAM — Amid suspicions that terror attacks are being prepared in the Iraqi province patrolled by Dutch troops, Foreign Affairs Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has demanded a security assessment before deciding on extending the peacekeeping mission. It was initially expected that the Cabinet would make a decision about the peacekeeping operation on Friday, but ongoing concerns for the safety troops appear likely to lead to a delay.

21 November 2003

AMSTERDAM — Amid suspicions that terror attacks are being prepared in the Iraqi province patrolled by Dutch troops, Foreign Affairs Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has demanded a security assessment before deciding on extending the peacekeeping mission.
 
It was initially expected that the Cabinet would make a decision about the peacekeeping operation on Friday, but ongoing concerns for the safety troops appear likely to lead to a delay.

This is despite the fact that Defence Minister Henk Kamp wants a decision to be made as soon as possible. He wants to inform the troops already stationed in the south of Iraq about the duration of their mission.

There are 1,100 marines in the southern Iraqi province of Al Muthanna and the troops are expected to be relieved by land force soldiers in about two months time, an NOS news report said on Thursday.

The Lower House of Parliament is not expected to resist the expected six-month extension of the mission, but is demanding a new security analysis be conducted. A recent suicide bombing killed 19 Italian peacekeeping troops not far from where the Dutch are deployed.
 
And it is not yet certain what impact US plans to handover power to the Iraqis earlier than planned will have on the security situation. Labour PvdA MP Bert Koenders has thus requested the cabinet postpone its decision about the mission for two weeks.
 
But according to news agency ANP, a safety analysis has already been placed given to the Dutch government.

It indicates that terrorists are preparing attacks in the Dutch patrol region and are intermingling with the local population. It also alleges that terrorists are trying to recruit local residents for possible attacks.

The intelligence corroborates an earlier assessment conducted by the US Central Intelligence Agency, which warned last week against the spread of terrorism in Iraq, also in the southern provinces. The CIA warning came shortly before the suicide bomb attack against the Italian HQ in Nasiriya.

Prior to dispatching the troops to the war-torn Islamic nation, the Dutch Parliament was warned that Iraqi renegades could regroup in the Dutch patrol area after carrying out attacks against western soldiers. Almost daily attacks are now occurring in Iraq in an increasingly sophisticated type of guerrilla war.
   
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news









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