Sunday, September 26, 2021

US increases troops to secure Kabul Airport for evacuation of personnel

The United States is increasing the number of its troops in Afghanistan to 6,000 after the Taliban reached Kabul.

The State Department and Department of Defense said they were aiming to secure Kabul Airport for the safe departure of US and allied personnel.

“Over the next 48 hours, we will have expanded our security presence to nearly 6,000 troops, with a mission focused solely on facilitating these efforts and will be taking over air traffic control,” the departments said.

The departments also said that it would speed up the evacuation of thousands of Afghan aid workers entitled to US special immigrant visas.

The move sees a further 1,000 US troops going to Afghanistan, just a day after US President, Joe Biden, ordered a prior reinforcement of 1,000 soldiers.

The deployment of 3,000 soldiers was announced last week, and 1,000 were already on the ground.

When Biden announced the withdrawal of US troops earlier this year, some 2,500 were left in the country.

Meanwhile, Germany had since Monday begun the evacuation of its citizens from Kabul with staff from Berlin’s Kabul embassy arriving in Doha on a US aircraft.

Dpa reports that four members of Switzerland’s mission in Afghanistan were also on board.

The German government decided on Friday to reduce its embassy staff to a minimum and took all staff to the airport on Sunday.

The first evacuation flight was by a US aircraft as Germany’s Bundeswehr was not scheduled to send its own planes, two A400M aircraft, to Kabul until later.

The German planes would form a central part of an airlift operation over the next few days to evacuate German embassy staff, German nationals and local personnel who had worked or are working for the Bundeswehr or other ministries.

The two military transport aircrafts, with space for 114 passengers, are expected to fly the passengers to a third country, so far not named by the German government, for security reasons.

SourceThe Point

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