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US begins deployment of additional forces to Kabul — Pentagon

The United States has already started the deployment of additional troops to evacuate US diplomats from Afghanistan's capital Kabul, the bulk of them is to arrive by the end of the week, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Friday.

"Some elements of one of the marine infantry battalions are already there, in Kabul. <…> The rest of their forces will continue to flow over the next couple of days, and I expect that by the end of the weekend the bulk of the 3,000 [servicemen] that we talked about yesterday will be in place. Probably not all, but the bulk," he said.

"The movement of forces to Kabul has begun," the spokesman added.

The United States is ready to adjust its military presence in Afghanistan depending on security situation in the country, he continued.

"Obviously, we are going to be watching the security situation day by day," he said. "If we need to adjust either way, left or right, we'll do that, but we are always going to be looking at the security conditions on the ground."

On Thursday, the US administration announced it was reducing the staff of the US embassy in Kabul. About 3,000 US servicemen will be temporarily deployed to the country to ensure their security. However, Pentagon expects about 1,000 servicemen to remain in Kabul to ensure safety of diplomatic workers who continue working in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s security situation deteriorated significantly in April after US President Joe Biden announced that the American armed forces’ operation there which became the US’ longest foreign military campaign was coming to an end. Against this background, the radical Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) has been stepping up the pace of its offensive in several directions. According to the data from several open sources as well as the claims of the Taliban itself, the radicals are controlling from 60% to 85% of the country’s territory, including the areas along the border with five countries: Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

[Source: Tass, Washington, 13Aug21]

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