US rushes in troops to speed up evacuations in Afghanistan

On Friday, the US sent 3,000 fresh troops to Kabul to expedite the withdrawal diplomats and others

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August 13, 2021 - 3:03 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three thousand fresh U.S. troops were rushing to Kabul on Friday in a temporary deployment to speed evacuation flights for some American diplomats and thousands of Afghans, as the Taliban pressed a lightning offensive that has captured much of the country and risks isolating Afghanistan’s capital city.

The Pentagon also was moving another 4,500 to 5,000 troops to bases in the Gulf countries of Qatar and Kuwait, including 1,000 to Qatar to speed up visa processing for Afghan translators and others who fear retribution from the Taliban for their past work with Americans, and their family members.

The remainder — 3,500 to 4,000 troops from a combat brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division — were bound for Kuwait. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the combat troops would be a reserve force on standby “in case we need even more” than the 3,000 going to Kabul.

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