India is evacuating family members of its embassy personnel from Syria as the 16-month internal conflict further worsened forcing the U.N. to press for sanctions.
“The family members of Indian Embassy personnel are being evacuated back to India... there are less than 100 Indians left in Syria, of whom a majority — about 30 — belong to the Embassy. Those will also be thinned out,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters here on Tuesday.
Besides the Embassy personnel, some Indian nationals belonging to the Missionaries of Charity are also present in Syria but they are not in areas of danger, he said.
Last week, India had issued a travel advisory warning its citizens against visiting the conflict-torn country.
The conflict between the Bashar al-Assad regime and the rebels has worsened as a bomb attack last week claimed the lives of Syrian Defence Minister and Assad’s brother-in-law who was also the deputy chief of staff of the military and several others.
When the crisis had broken out in Syria early last year, there were 900 Indian nationals in the country.
The Indian Ambassador to Syria had advised all Indian nationals to leave the country as the conflict took a serious turn.
Last week, India had voted in favour of a U.N. Resolution to slap fresh sanctions on Syria which was vetoed by Russia and China.
India termed as “regrettable” the failure of the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution on Syria that would have threatened sanctions against Assad’s regime.