Zee Media Bureau/ Deepak Nagpal
New Delhi/Baghdad: In a blow to New Delhi`s efforts to secure the release of 40 Indians kidnapped by ISIS militants in Iraq, the government in Baghdad on Thursday said that the operation to free Indians from ISIS custody was “infeasible”.
While stating that all Indians in ISIS custody were safe, the Iraqi government said in a statement – as reported in the media – that no demands or threats had been made by the ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The statement from the Iraqi government came even as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today sought to assure the families of the 40 kidnapped Indian nationals, saying the government was making all possible efforts to resolve the crisis.
“The government is leaving no stone unturned to find a solution to this. I am personally supervising this,” Swaraj said.
“I want to assure the family that the government and I will try our very best, make every effort (to bring back Indians),” the minister further stated.
She informed that she will meet some of the kin of Indians kidnapped in Iraq later today.
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The MEA had Wednesday evening confirmed that the 40 missing Indians had in fact been kidnapped. They were working in the Tariq Noor al Juda construction company.
"We will not spare any efforts to help the Indians in Iraq," MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters yesterday.
"Contingency plan unit is working in Delhi for other options. Former ambassador of India to Iraq Suresh Reddy is going to help reinforce Indian mission," he said.
The MEA has also set up a round-the-clock control room to provide information on Iraq. The same can be reached at 011-23014104 (telephone), 011-23018158 (fax) or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISIS – Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – has taken control of several Iraqi cities from the state forces and is also posing a threat to the capital Baghdad. The Iraqi government has requested the US to launch air strikes against ISIS militants.