New Delhi: Paramilitary commandos may soon be deployed to guard the Indian embassy and diplomatic staff in war-ravaged Iraq, following threats from the ISIS terror groups, officials said.
An in-principle approval for the deployment of an armed squad at the complex located in the Al Mansour area of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad has been accorded by the Ministries of Home and External Affairs, they said.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been tasked to provide its best combat personnel for the job. They said that the commandos will have a specific task of securing the embassy, its diplomatic staff and their families against terror threats.
“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,” a senior official privy to the development said.
“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,” the official said. Once cleared, the proposed contingent will be about 45-50 personnel strong and headed by a deputy commandant rank officer of the CRPF.
The commandos, who are highly motivated, having done a stint in the anti-Naxal operations, the forces’ elite commando squad for jungle warfare CoBRA and who have been the “best performers” will be part of the proposed contingent, the official said. The personnel will have to be adept in handling improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and in conducting special operations and hostage rescue tasks, it said.