SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Netherlands will send around 150 troops to the Kurdistan Region as part of the U.S.-led Coalition forces, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The Dutch cabinet would send an additional 100 to 150 soldiers to the Kurdistan Region next year to provide security for the Erbil international airport, De Telegraaf said on Friday (November 20).
The Dutch protection unit “is working with the United States to protect coalition personnel and equipment at the airport,” the newspaper said.
The Erbil airport has been an important base for the Coalition forces to carry out operations against Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
The international coalition against ISIS had changed its training mission to an advisory role, and the Netherlands will lead the role next year.
The first troops will leave to Erbil in early January, according to Dutch site NRC.
“The fight against ISIS is in a new phase and the emphasis is on protection,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. “The aim is to help local organizations professionalize, so that they can independently fight the terrorist group in the future.”
In April, the Dutch government halted training mission for the Peshmerga forces due to the coronavirus outbreak, and withdrew the 20 Dutch soldiers from the Region.