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IAF may fly out stranded Indians from Iraq

July 01, 2014 21:40 IST

As per plans, the Indian Air Force may use its planes to fly out Indian nationals stranded in Iraq to safer places nearby such as Kuwait or the United Arab Emirates from where commercial airliners would ferry them back to India.

As per the plan, if required, the IAF aircraft would be used to fly out citizens to safer nearby locations and then the commercial planes would take charge, defence sources said.

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The navy has already deployed its warships in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden in stand-by mode and they may be pressed into service based on the analysis of the situation in Iraq in next few days, they said.

Depending on the situation in Iraq, the government will take a call on whether the 300-seater C-17 Globemaster III aircraft would be deployed or the 80-100 seater C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft pressed into action there, they sources said.

The Crisis Management Group headed by the Cabinet Secretary has been monitoring the situation and has been issuing directions to various ministries on the issue.

The officials concerned are also working towards providing required documents to the Indian nationals who are not in possession of such papers and have expressed willingness to return.

After a batch of 94 Indians who flew back on Monday, an additional 136 are coming back, taking the total number of those who have left so far to 230. Indians who are coming out of Iraq are mainly from north India followed by Hyderabad and Kerala.

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