The unidentified soldier was arrested Wednesday in the eastern Dutch city of Arnhem before appearing before Rotterdam Court on Friday. He was provisionally released.
According to a statement released by the prosecutor’s office, “Dutch law – apart from in exceptional circumstances like self-defense – does not give citizens the right to use force and particularly not deadly force.
“Killing an [Isis] fighter therefore could mean being prosecuted for murder.”
The statement also described the 47-year-old man as “a former soldier whose case was extensively reported on last year in the media and on Facebook due to his involvement in the fight against the Islamic State.”
Dutch media reports that he fled to Syria in 2015 to support the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, and refers to him as Jitse Akse.
The prosecutor’s office distinguished between lone fighters traveling to Syria to battle soldiers of the Islamic State, and Dutch army personnel who are training Iraqi forces and engaging in coalition bombings against ISIS.
“The [Dutch] deployment and training takes place at the request of the Iraqi government and forms the legal basis for its presence there,” the statement reads. “It also applies to the deployment of Dutch F-16 fighters above Iraq.”
The Netherlands joined coalition forces in Iraq in 2014. Later this month, its government is expected to decide whether to extend operations into Syria.