US to send more troops to help evacuate some embassy staff in Afghanistan

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With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States is sending additional troops into the country to help evacuate some personnel from the embassy in Kabul, a US official said on Thursday.

The troops will provide ground and air support for the processing and security of Americans being sent to the Kabul airport, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a plan not yet made public.

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The move suggests a lack of confidence by the Biden administration in the Afghan government’s ability to provide sufficient diplomatic security in the capital as the Taliban mounts an offensive that has rapidly conquered key cities in recent days.

The Pentagon had kept about 650 troops in Afghanistan to support UD diplomatic security, including at the airport.

The official said an unspecified additional number of troops, as well as aircraft, are to be brought in to assist with the embassy drawdown.

US confirms drawing down to 'core diplomatic presence' in Kabul

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday the United States is reducing its civilian footprint to a “core diplomatic presence” in Kabul in light of the security situation in Afghanistan.

“Our embassy remains open and our diplomatic mission will endure,” Price said at a regular news briefing.

He said the embassy remains open at its current location, when asked about reports that the embassy might be relocated.

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