Friday's announcement came after Belgium's six F-16 fighter bombers had already returned from their base in Jordan, where they had spent the last nine months participating in the US-led bombing campaign against ISIL in Iraq. Brussels has declared that it could no longer afford to continue funding the air operation.
Asked for comment by Sputnik, Syrian Information Minister assistant Ali al-Ahmed stated that Brussels' announcement comes as no surprise, given repeated reports of Europeans' growing doubts "about the effectiveness of the coalition and its operations." Noting that the Belgian government has been plagued by high rates of disapproval of "this enormous and ineffective spending," al-Ahmed told Sputnik that "Belgium has now come to personify European countries' dissatisfaction over the coalition's actions."
Al-Ahmed criticized Western nations' use of limited financial resources for expensive airstrikes, noting that these funds could have been much more effectively spent by providing assistance to the countries directly involved in the fight against ISIL terror, including Iraq and Syria.
Ultimately, Al-Ahmed, whose country has been involved in a battle against radical Islamic groups for over four years now, pessimistically noted that "the main goal of this coalition is to preserve the balance of forces on the ground, so that no one can win, with the shedding of blood continuing for a long time, until the US is able to implement its interests in the region."