Dutch sergeant joins Islamic State in first such desertion


A 26-year-old Dutch air force sergeant is believed to have travelled to Syria to join Islamic State insurgents, the Netherlands’ defence ministry said on Thursday.

The man’s access to military computer systems has been revoked and prosecutors are investigating the case, a ministry statement said. His identity was not made public.

Thousands of foreign recruits have joined the Islamic State jihadist movement, including dozens from the Netherlands, but “it is the first time that an enlisted Dutch soldier has left (to do so)”, the statement said. Islamic State has taken large swathes of Iraq and Syria, worsening Middle East turmoil.