The Dutch armed forces are putting a naval frigate on standby to help evacuate Dutch nationals from Libya if necessary. The announcement was made on Tuesday by the Ministry of Defence.
The HNLMS Tromp was on its way to Somalia to take part in NATO’s anti-piracy operation there, but is now expected to arrive off the coast of Libya on Friday. The air defence and command vessel - which left the Dutch navy base at Den Helder just two weeks ago - will now leave the Red Sea and pass through the Suez Canal once again over the next few days as it heads north.
A KDC-10 transport plane of the Royal Dutch Air Force is now due to fly out today to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to evacuate Dutch citizens.
Should an air evacuation prove impossible or Libyan air space is closed again at some point in the near future, the HNLMS Tromp will be available to carry out an evacuation by sea.