About 45 multi-skilled troops, drawn from the country’s largest Central Armed Police Force, have taken charge of the embassy complex located in the Al Mansour area of the Iraqi capital. The CRPF commando contingent has been armed with sophisticated weapons such as AK-series assault rifles, Glock pistols and other equipment required for an armoured counter-terror shield, according to reports. The squad has a mix of combat-skilled drivers, quick reaction teams, personal security officers, hostage rescue specialists, and improvised explosive device experts.
The seasoned troops can not only secure the complex but also guard diplomats who venture out.
An official from the Indian Consulate in the Kurdistan Region did not confirm the deployment of troops to the Baghdad embassy but acknowledged the ISIS threat from terrorists in the region.
The official reportedly said: “Given the constant threat of the ISIS terror group in Iraq, it was being discussed for a long time that the Indian Embassy there should have a professional security cover.
“The effort to send the paramilitary commandos is a move in that direction. However, the final approval for stationing the squad in Baghdad is yet to be given by the government.”
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The commandos have been picked from the highly motivated Cobra unit (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), local media outlet NDTV reports.
The CRPF is the country’s lead internal security force that is tasked with combating the Left Wing Extremism and counter-terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
War-ravaged Iraq is getting back to normal after defeating ISIS terrorists.
Baghdad has witnessed suicide attacks and bombings by ISIS terrorists since 2003.
The terrorists captured large parts of the country and neighbouring Syria in an attempt to establish a self-styled Islamic Caliphate.
This is the second foreign assignment for the commando squad as it similarly guarded the Indian Embassy in Libya’s capital city of Tripoli for the last few years.
India has revised its “no travel” advisory to Iraq and has said that citizens can now travel to the war and insurgency-ravaged country as the security situation has “improved”.
It added that travellers should inform Indian authorities at the Baghdad Embassy or the Consulate General in Erbil before they travel to Iraq.
The advisory, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, allows Indians to travel to any part of the country for work or business.
But the advisory excluded five provinces; Nineveh (capital Mosul), Salahuddin (capital Tikrit), Diyala (capital Baquba), Anbar (capital Ramadi) and Kirkuk.
Iraqi forces wrestled back control of their areas from ISIS in late 2017 after numerous gun battles and deaths.