India has told its citizens to remain in the country, saying there was no need to send any more Indians abroad to help in the conflict in Syria.

A government spokesman said that India’s government had told its nationals to stay home in the coming days and months.

“Our position is that the government has given the mandate to the defence ministry to coordinate the use of foreign military personnel,” the spokesman said.

“We have not sent any more foreign troops to Syria.

The government is working on the matter.”

A foreign ministry official in Delhi, who asked not to be named, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that India had no plans at this stage to send Indian citizens to Syria, which has become the main battleground in the Syrian civil war.

He said there was a large number of Indian citizens in Syria, mainly working in the agricultural sector, and that the decision to send them had been taken before the Syrian conflict broke out.

He told the news agency that the Indian government had not given any specific instructions for sending Indian nationals abroad.

“India is not in any way supporting the Syrian opposition,” the official said.

The spokesman said India had sent about 2,000 troops to the war-torn country in 2015, but that the figure had now dropped to less than 700.

India’s military operations in Syria have killed more than 10,000 people and displaced millions, according to a UN-affiliated monitoring group.

The latest batch of refugees, many of whom were born in the Indian subcontinent, had fled to Syria when the conflict erupted in 2011.