The Kurdish Regional Government is ready to assist the Turkish government in connection with the abduction of 49 of its nationals by ISIL militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul, the KRG's Prime Minister has said.

Nechirvan Barzani made the offer on Saturday during a press conference with the UN Special Representative in Iraq, Nikolai Miladinov, in which he condemned the kidnapping of the Turkish consulate staff and their relatives, and that of 31 Turkish truck drivers who were also seized last week as they delivered fuel to a power plant.

“We wanted to collaborate with the Baghdad government against the militants of the ISIL before Mosul was seized, but the Baghdad government did not give an answer to our offer of assistance,” he said.

Barzani also stressed that the Baghdad government must take responsibility for taking back control of Iraq's second-largest city, and that military operations should be considered if a political solution could not be found. He added: "The KRG always regards itself as a part of Iraq."

- Security risk

“According to the constitution, the Iraqi KRG’S Peshmerga army has to protect the security of the Kurdish people, and we sent our troops to Kirkuk and other districts because of the security risk there.”

Turkish companies were safe in the Kurdish region and could continue their business securely given the KRG's assurance, Barzani said.

ISIL militants have also captured Saddam Hussein's hometown Tikrit, 140 km northwest of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, as well as towns of Samarra and Tuz Khormato in Salahuddin province.

The ISIL has also held control of the western province of Anbar since early January.

More than 300,000 residents have fled Mosul since Friday, mostly to Kurdish-populated parts of the country, where they have been given shelter in refugee camps, following the ISIL's advances.