Skip to Content

ISIS followers in Syria posing as White Helmets. Photo supplied
The Hague

Dutch government supported armed groups designated as terrorists

The Dutch government supported an armed group in Syria that has been labeled as a terrorist organisation by the country's own Public Prosecution Service.

Published: September 11, 2018, 8:54 am

    Read more

    In 2017 the Netherlands secretly provided an Islamist movement with materiel while next month, a Dutch Syrian gang will be going on trial for participation in Jabhat al-Shamiya. Research done by Nieuwsuur and conservative daily Trouw revealed that the so-called battle group Jabhat al-Shamiya had received among other things, uniforms and pick-up trucks.

    The Netherlands sent the logistics equipment to Jabhat al-Shamiya as part of the state secret “NLA” program, or “non lethal assistance”. Through this program, the Netherlands supplied “non-lethal goods” to 22 combat groups in Syria from 2015 to the beginning of this year. One of those groups, according to the research by Nieuwsuur and Trouw, is Jabhat al-Shamiya.

    The Public Prosecutor is currently prosecuting a Dutch man because in 2015 he allegedly participated in Jabhat al-Shamiya. The indictment states that the group is “salafist and jihadist”, “strives for the establishment of a caliphate” and “cannot but qualify” as a “criminal organisation with terrorist intent”.

    This description can, according to experts, result in legal complications if it becomes clear that the Dutch State has supported terrorists. The research by Nieuwsuur and Trouw also shows that the supervision of the aid to various Syrian groups was inadequate.

    Foreign Minister Stef Blok. Wikipedia

    Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, unexpectedly sent a letter to the Lower House on Friday evening announcing that support for Syrian opposition groups would be terminated.

    A victory of President Assad seems imminent and the tide can not be reversed, according to the ministers.

    Blok’s letter came after Nieuwsuur and Trouw had presented their research in a second interview last week. The department replied that it takes the findings of Nieuwsuur and Trouw “very seriously” indeed. “The messages strengthen our conviction that stopping the support was the right decision”, according to a government spokesman.

    The ministry also stated that there had been insufficient supervision of the NLA program and that the program has now been stopped. But few months ago, the ministry stated that the NLA program supported “moderate combatants” who wanted to protect themselves against extremists, and that “stopping such programs” entailed the risk that “extremist groups would gain further strength”.

    MPs had been asking for access to information about the NLA program for years, but until now the Netherlands has kept the names of the supported groups secret. The specific type of vehicles that the Netherlands sent to Syria was also declared a state secret.

    Nieuwsuur and Trouw however discovered which groups were involved, and also which goods the Netherlands had delivered. They identified six specific brigades that had received Dutch support.

    One of these is the Jabhat al-Shamiya organisation, which is considered a terrorist group. Other groups that received Dutch support appear to have been guilty of serious human rights violations and cooperated with extremist groups despite many guarantees issued by the cabinet.

    The investigation also shows that the Netherlands supplied Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-max pick-up trucks to Syrian rebels, among other things. The Netherlands also sent uniforms, satellite telephones, laptops, mattresses, backpacks and cameras. The jihadists told Nieuwsuur and Trouw that they were very satisfied with the Dutch aid and that they were using the goods received by the Netherlands in the armed struggle.

    On video images that the rebel groups supported by the Netherlands put on their YouTube channels, you can see how they use the type of pick-up truck that the Netherlands supplied by attaching machine guns to and from the truck.

    The Netherlands has reportedly allocated over $80 million to the Syrian opposition groups, including to the Free Syrian Police and White Helmets, but the Public Prosecution Service declined to discuss the policy of Foreign Affairs.

    Foreign Affairs responded to questions about the aid: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes the messages from Nieuwsuur and Trouw very seriously, and the support to the moderate armed Syrian opposition was stopped in the spring of 2018. Our monitoring showed that the risks were too great, given the changed situation in Syria, we found the continuation not permitted.

    “The messages from Nieuwsuur and Trouw convinced us that stopping the support was the right decision.”

    The support for the opposition was set to end immediately, while White Helmets will be funded until the end of the year.

    The extent of Dutch support to actual terrorists in Syria may be more extensive than the latest research revealed, since the other recipients named in the government letter are equally questionable.

    Chemical attacks previously reported to have occurred in Syria were British fakes, pulled off with help from the White Helmets, Virginia state senator Richard Black told Al Mayadeen, an Arab news channel based in Beirut.

    The FSP too has been operating in Idlib, a province largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Last year, the BBC aired the Panorama program titled “Jihadis You Pay For” showing FSP officers that had to be approved by HTS henchmen to get enlisted into the “police force”.

    The UK Foreign Office suspended funding to the FSP through the AJACS program, ending it completely in August, RT reported.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Putin bravely dons hazmat suit to visit Covid-19 patients in Moscow

    MoscowPresident Vladimir Putin donned a yellow hazmat suit to explain to the public the emergency measures taken by the Russian government.

    Italian infections on the rise again despite curfews

    RomeAfter a few days of decline, the number of new cases in Italy have increased again. Wednesday's rise in the number of dead were 683, while on Tuesday the rise was 743. The number of confirmed cases in the US has however surpassed China and Italy to become the largest outbreak in the world.

    How the East fights against the Coronavirus

    MoscowEurope currently appears to be drowning in chaos and dysfunction when it comes to the fight against the Coronavirus. But how is Russia handling the challenge right now?

    Italy faces new emergency as it runs out of disinfectants

    RomeIt will no longer be possible to disinfect hospitals, ambulances, public transport and schools. The League has urged the EU to step in. "The government and Europe must intervene as soon as possible."

    Immigrants revolt against confinement in France, Germany

    ParisWhile drastic containment measures came into effect on March 17 at noon in France, carelessness and incivility persist in the immigrant districts of Paris. The police dispatched on the spot are exasperated with the inhabitants.

    Famous virologist explains risky ‘logic’ of herd immunity

    A virologist twice nominated for the Nobel Prize explains the British strategy of "herd immunity" claiming it may have a logical explanation, but is still too risky.

    Italian specialist: Three diseases that invite risk faced with the Coronavirus

    RomeIt seems that there are no more doubts since the data are clear: The mortality from Covid-19 is higher "for hypertensive patients, patients with cardiac arrhythmias, diabetics and patients with cardiovascular diseases".

    Dutch research team first to discover Covid-19 antibodies

    RotterdamThe first drug capable of attacking and neutralizing the Coronavirus could be ready for experimentation after a group of Dutch researchers discovered an antibody.

    Italy asks for more respirators but EU countries refuse

    BrusselsIn the teleconference between the 27 health ministers, Italy raised the alarm. But none of the "allies" responded.

    Muslim Brotherhood takes root in the Netherlands

    The HagueThe Rotterdam mosque De Middenweg and the Amsterdam Blue Mosque are in the grip of the Muslim Brotherhood. This was the message from the terror expert and investigator Ronald Sandee this week during his testimony in the Dutch lower house of parliament on unwanted foreign influence in Islamic institutions.

    Go to archive