US to dispatch 3,000 troops

Published August 13, 2021

WASHINGTON: The United States said on Thursday it was sending 3,000 troops to the international airport in Kabul immediately to evacuate US embassy staff as the Taliban make rapid gains.

“We are further reducing our civilian footprint in Kabul in light of the evolving security situation,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“This president prioritises above all else the safety and security of Americans who are serving overseas,” he said of Joe Biden, who has ordered a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years.

“The first movement will consist of three infantry battalions that are currently in the Central Command area of responsibility,” said Defence Department spokesman John Kirby.

They would move to the Hamid Karzai International Airport within the next 24 to 48 hours, he said.

He said the Pentagon would also likely deploy more transport aircraft to Afghanistan to help remove the embassy staff and Afghans who have qualified for relocation to the United States.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2021

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