The government in Iraq's independent Kurdish region has sought India's assistance to fight against the Islamic State as. They want security-related aid as well as humanitarian aid for thousands who have taken refuge there after fleeing from IS-controlled territories.
The request from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) comes ahead of the ongoing Iraq trip of MJ Akbar, the minister of state for external affairs, in the first high-level visit from India to the embattled country in years.
The KRG has sought humanitarian aid to help provide food, medicines and other essentials to more than 1.8 million refugees who have taken shelter in the region after fleeing from the areas occupied by IS, Indian officials said.
Falah Mustafa Bakir, who heads the Department of Foreign Relations in the regional government, recently met Deepak Miglani, the newly appointed Consul General of India in the Kurdistan capital of Erbil.
Bakir explained the role of Kurdish armed forces in the fight against IS, the officials said. In 2014, the KRG had played a key part in securing the release of nurses from Kerala who were caught in an area that was under IS control.
The Indian security establishment has been in touch with their counterparts in KRG to locate 39 Indians still missing in Iraq's conflict zone. Kurdistan expects Delhi to provide hardware for the fight against IS, the sources said.
While India has conveyed its solidarity with the KRG in the fight against IS and wants to deepen its political and economic engagement with the region, the government has not made up its mind on the request for military assistance yet.