Iraq's Kurds seek India's military assistance

Iraq's Kurds seek India's military assistance

Regional govt also wants humanitarian aid

Iraq's Kurds seek India's military assistance

 Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has sought India’s military support in its fight against  Islamic State (IS) group.

Kurdistan has also sought humanitarian aid from India to help provide food, medicines and other essentials to over 1.8 million refugees, who have taken shelter in the region after fleeing the areas occupied by IS.

Kurdistan’s appeal to India for military support and humanitarian assistance was conveyed by Falah Mustafa, who heads the Department of Foreign Relations of the government of the autonomous region.

Mustafa recently briefed the newly appointed Consul General of India in Erbil (the capital of Kurdistan), Deepak Miglani, about Kurdish armed force Peshmerga’s role in the fight against IS, sources in New Delhi told DH.

Mustafa also told Miglani that the KRG alone cannot bear such a huge burden of giving food, medicine and other essentials to the refugees, unless the international community steps in and provides support.

The influx of refugees from Syria and rest of Iraq resulted in a 30% rise in the population of Kurdistan, according to an estimate by the KRG.

Mustafa is learnt to have conveyed to Miglani that Kurdistan expects New Delhi to provide support,possibly by supplying weapons, ammunition and other military hardware for Peshmerga’s use.

Miglani conveyed to Mustafa India’s solidarity with the KRG in the fight against IS.
Sources told DH that while India is keen to deepen its political and economic engagement with Kurdistan region of Iraq, New Delhi has not yet taken a decision on the request from the KRG for military and humanitarian assistance.

While providing humanitarian aid for refugees in Kurdistan might not be difficult, New Delhi is likely to take a cautious approach when it comes to providing military support to the Peshmerga, ostensibly due to the possible implication of such a move on India’s relations with Iraq as well as its ties with other nations in the region.

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