US to deploy over 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to help in evacuation of diplomats, special visa applicants | World News

The United States is sending over 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to help in the evacuation of diplomats and special visa applicants (SIV) in view of deteriorating situation. These troops will deploy to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul immediately.

Another 1,000 personnel will be sent to Qatar to process Afghans who are being evacuated and relocated to the US on special visa. Another 3,500 troops will deploy from a base in the US to Kuwait to stand prepared to be sent to Afghanistan if needed.

Defence secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the department to “position temporary enabling capabilities to ensure the safety and security of US and partner civilian personnel”, said John Kirby, the chief Pentagon spokesperson, at a news briefing, referring to an earlier order from President Joe Biden reducing US diplomatic presence.

“I want to stress that these forces are being deployed to support the orderly and safe reduction of civilian personnel at the request of the state department and to help facilitate an accelerated process of working through SIV applicants,” Kirby said, adding, “This is a temporary mission with a narrow focus.”

The additional deployment announcement came amidst growing concerns in Biden administration with the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, as a result of the Taliban advancing far more rapidly than anticipated.

Kirby insisted the additional deployment will not affect the withdrawal timeline, which is geared towards completion by the end August.

The US had planned to leave about 650 troops after the completion of the drawdown for the security of its embassy and personnel. But, it’s now beefing up its presence. Although it’s a temporary measure, Kirby gave no indication to the duration of their planned stay.

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