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article imageNetherlands recommits to NATO's final push against Gaddafi

By Bradley Axmith     Sep 23, 2011 in World
The Hague - The Netherlands extended their military contribution to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector for an additional three months following the decision taken by the military alliance on 21 September to continue its mission to support the Libyan uprising.
The Dutch announced the extension of their military contribution to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector for an additional three months following the decision taken by the North Atlantic Council on 21 September to lengthen its mission for ninety more days.
Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal and Defence Minister Hans Hillen informed the Dutch parliament by letter on 21 September of the mission plans, which cover six F-16s, one minesweeper and personnel amounting to around 170 servicemen and women, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The six fighter aircraft have been participating in the United Nations Security Council mandated mission to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar al-Gaddafi, though they have not been given permission by the Dutch civilian leadership to engage in offensive campaigns.
NATO has encouraged the Dutch air force to join other member states taking part in strikes on ground targets, but the F16s have been limited carrying out surveillance missions.
By comparison, the six Danish F16s striking Qaddafi’s forces, running low on ordinances, asked its Dutch counterpart to use their unused bombs to continue putting pressure on the ousted North African leader, Defense News reported.
“The days of the former regime are numbered,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen declared on the sidelines of a meeting with the Friends of Libya, an alliance of nations committed to help establishing democracy in the country of almost 7 million.
The National Transition Council, a provisional administration that emerged from the rebel forces has indicated their intent to form an official government in the next week.
United Nations Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 are the basis for NATO’s mission to protect civilians through the use of force, while resolution 2009 provides for the support of democracy, according to NATO.
More about Libya, arab uprisings, Nato, War
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