Pentagon to send three infantry battalions to Afghanistan to help evacuate US diplomats
Stars and Stripes August 12, 2021
WASHINGTON — The United States is sending three infantry battalions to the international airport in Kabul within the next two days to help evacuate U.S. diplomats as the Taliban continues to capture cities throughout Afghanistan, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday.
The Pentagon announcement followed a security alert issued Thursday by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul urging all Americans to leave Afghanistan immediately as the Taliban had captured more than 10 provincial capitals during the final weeks of the U.S. military’s drawdown from the country, which began May 1.
In addition, a 3,500-person infantry brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., will deploy to Kuwait within the next week.
The Taliban has secured about two-thirds of Afghanistan in a series of wins against Afghan Security Forces as U.S. forces leave the country. On Thursday, the Taliban announced it had gained control of Herat, the third largest city in Afghanistan, despite U.S. airstrikes in support of the Afghan government forces, which outnumbers the Taliban by about 300,000 to 75,000.
Stars and Stripes reporter Sarah Cammarata contributed to this report.