Police have arrested a former Dutch soldier who is accused of killing Islamic State (Isis) jihadists and posting his exploits on Facebook. The 47-year-old is alleged to have fought alongside YPG militants, a Kurdish militia in war-torn Syria.
The man was arrested in the eastern Dutch city of Arnhem on Wednesday 13 January and prosecutors have warned that the man could face murder charges. Under Dutch law the use of force is only permitted in exceptional circumstances.
The man who cannot be named due to laws in Holland is said to have fought alongside the YPG and then published an account of his activities on his social media profile. He was later released by a judge who ordered the man to surrender his passport to stop him returning to the Middle East.
In October the Kurdish YPG, key US allies in the fight against the Daesh (IS) were accused of war crimes by Amnesty International after claims of burning villages to the ground. "Dutch fighters against IS fall under normal Dutch criminal law and can be prosecuted if they commit crimes," prosecutors said in a statement according to Reuters. "Killing IS fighters can lead to a criminal prosecution for murder."
A spokesman for the prosecutors, Wim de Bruin, said that further investigation into the former soldier's role in working with the YPG was necessary and it was not clear whether he would face criminal charges. The hearing did not reveal when he left the military.
The Netherlands is part of the international coalition against the IS but at the hearing, prosecutors said there was "an important difference between Dutch nationals who travel to Syria on their own to fight against IS and Dutch soldiers who train Iraqi and Kurdish forces", claimed the BBC.
In September 2015 three Britons who volunteered to go to the Middle East to fight against IS took part in a Channel 4 documentary. They expressed their belief that the West should be doing more to beat IS.
It is thought that over 100 Western volunteers have joined forces fighting against the Muslim extremists in Iraq and Syria. At least one Brit, former Royal Marine, Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, has died in the Syrian civil war in 2015.