Indian cooperation could be “very relevant” in the fight against ISIL or Islamic State, the White House said today, even though it accepted that the ongoing counter-terrorism discussion between the two countries was mainly focused on terrorist outfits in South Asia.
“In terms of our (counter-terrorism) cooperation with India, it has been very focused in this part of the world and the different terrorist organisations that operate here in South Asia, be it al-Qaeda, be it LeT, or others,” the Deputy National Security Adviser, Ben Rhodes, told reporters at a news conference here on the second day of President Barack Obama’s India visit to attend the Republic Day celebrations.
“That said, we do think there is space for cooperation with India on issues like foreign fighters, on issues like terrorist travel and financing. That could be very relevant to the ISIL campaign,” Rhodes said in response to a question.
“So when you look at our broader counter-terrorism cooperation and how we are tracking the flow of fighters and terrorist financing, there I do think we want to find space for cooperation.
“That will look very different from a country that is providing military resources or training forces on the ground, but it’s still a valuable contribution in terms of counter-terrorism,” Rhodes said.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is an Islamist rebel group that swept through large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria with a lightening speed in mid-June, threating Iraqi capital Baghdad and Arbil (capital of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq).
US is leading a over 60 countries coalition against the ISIL and the coalition forces have frequently bombed its positions both in Iraq and Syria since August last year.