Islamic State: Vandeput awaits international anti-IS coalition findings
Share article:
Share article:

Islamic State: Vandeput awaits international anti-IS coalition findings

© Belga
Steven Vandeput is awaiting the findings from the international coalition regarding the March 17th Mosul bombings.
© Belga

The Defence Minister, Steven Vandeput (New Flemish Alliance), is awaiting the findings of the inquiry led by the international anti-IS coalition. When these are released, he will come to a decision upon the potential involvement of Belgian F-16s in the Mosul bombing on March 17th. This caused the deaths of more than one hundred civilians.

Questioned this morning (Monday) on Radio 1 (VRT), the Minister gave assurances that Belgian pilots were applying very strict rules of engagement at the time of the incident.

He mentioned that Belgian F-16s were then taking part, on a daily basis, in missions with various objectives and configurations.

He pointed out that on March 17th, it is absolutely correct that Belgian aeroplanes were in the vicinity of Mosul. Vandeput emphasised, “However, it is not clear exactly where the photographs of the victims were taken.” He says that Belgium is collaborating in the international inquiry.

The Minister said that it is only when this is completed that it be possible to see if “the rules we laid down were followed, and whether there was an issue somewhere.”

Vandeput confirms that Belgian pilots are sticking to the principal of judicial restraint in case of any doubt. This principal is only waived in one given scenario, in the event of support to ground troops.

Mr Vandeput has been told to be available for the Parliamentary Committee for Overseas Missions, which monitors missions abroad. This is meeting today (Monday). The Minister stressed, “I have already provided explanations of the incident to this committee.” He is asking committee members to comply with the rules on confidentiality in camera.

Following opposition calls for open communication on the Mosul bombings, the Minister acknowledges that the population has the right to a lot of information, but that some information should, however, remain secret. “How far should we go so as not to give too much information away to the enemy?”


The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...