U.S. and U.K. send troops to help evacuate the Afghan embassy

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Afghanistan Update

As the Taliban continue their operations, the United States and Britain will deploy troops to help evacuate the staff of their embassy in Kabul. Lightning strike After President Joe Biden decided to withdraw American troops, the capital cities of Afghanistan.

The Pentagon stated that it will send 3,000 soldiers to Kabul in the next 24 to 48 hours to help downsize the embassy, ​​including aircraft that can help take personnel out of the Afghan capital, and a reserve brigade of 3,500 soldiers to Kuwait. Just in case the security situation deteriorates further.

The US State Department stated that it was withdrawing diplomats due to the threat posed by the Taliban’s offensive, adding that only a small number of personnel would remain after the operation was completed.

“Given the changing security situation, we are further reducing our footprint in Kabul,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Thursday. “We expect to downsize our core diplomatic presence in Afghanistan in the coming weeks.”

The British deployment announced on Thursday will include 600 soldiers to speed up the evacuation of some diplomats and Afghans working with the British army. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said that the British embassy, ​​currently located in the outskirts of Kabul’s Green Zone, will also be moved to a safer place.

John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, insisted that the deployment was not a combat operation, although the troops would be armed for self-defense. Instead, the United States and the United Kingdom stated that the additional forces will focus on ensuring the safety of staff and evacuate Afghan civilians who are supporting their mission and eligible for relocation.

“It’s about preparation, we have to make sure we have enough things on hand to adapt,” Kirby said.

Price said that the reduction has not been completely evacuated, and the US Embassy is still open at its current location, calling it a “prudent contingency plan.” He stated that the United States is coordinating with allies and will start implementing these measures “soon.”

It is expected that by this weekend, the first batch of 600 British troops will arrive in Afghanistan. British Ambassador Sir Laurie Bristol will remain in Afghanistan, but will reduce the diplomatic team and focus on providing visa services for those who need to leave the country.

The Allies’ decision highlights the threat to the Afghan capital that the Taliban’s series of victories posed, which occupied Herat on Thursday. AfghanistanThe third largest city, after a day of fierce battle.

The country’s second largest city, Kandahar, also appeared on the brink of falling into the Taliban on Thursday. “It does look like… ANDSF troops are withdrawing from Kandahar,” an American official told the Financial Times, using the acronym for the Afghan Regular Army.

With the fall of Herat, the largest city so far occupied by Islamists, the militant group now controls 11 provincial capitals, including the city of Ghazni on the highway from western Afghanistan to Kabul.

A US defense official told the Financial Times that the Taliban may threaten Kabul earlier than expected. The US Embassy in Kabul issued a warning for the second time in six days on Thursday, urging US citizens to “use the available commercial flight options immediately” to leave.

Bill Roggio, editor of the Defence Democracy Foundation’s Long War Magazine, maintains a critically acclaimed map that records the rapid gains of the Taliban. He said that when residents of the capital and foreign workers realized that an evacuation was taking place At that time, the civil international airport in the center of Kabul will be “siege”.

“If things continue like this, they will risk the Saigon moment,” he said.

British troops from 16 air assault brigades and joint force headquarters will conduct what the Ministry of Defense calls “short-term” deployments in Afghanistan. They include military doctors, logistics personnel, airlift personnel and protection forces.

A Whitehall official told the Financial Times that fewer than 5,000 evacuees are expected, including British nationals such as diplomats and contractors, as well as those eligible for resettlement in the UK under the government’s expanded Afghanistan relocation and assistance policy. Interpreters and staff members.

To date, the policy was launched in April, and more than 3,100 former Afghan staff and their families have been relocated in the UK.

The American brigade to Kuwait will be from the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Kirby would not disclose which battalions were sent to Kabul, but he said they were already in the area. They will be stationed at the civil international airport.

Another 1,000 US troops were deployed to Qatar to help obtain visas for interpreters and other Afghan personnel working with the US military.

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