As the deadline to pull out of Afghanistan approaches, additional troops are being sent to help pull embassy civilians out of Kabul. At the same time, more troops head into Qatar and Kuwait as additional resource teams.
According to the Defense Department, three infantry battalions are making their way to the airport in Kabul. The team’s objective is to clear out the civilians in the State Departments’ embassy.
Simultaneously, 1,000 more troops are going to Qatar to assist with processing immigrant visas for Afghan interpreters. According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, a combat team is also going to Kuwait as an on-call reaction force to combat the ever-advancing Taliban.
As the U.S. pulls out, the Taliban continues to move forward with their attempts to take over capital cities throughout Afghanistan. Their advances lay the groundwork for an eventual takeover of the country.
“I want to stress that these forces are being deployed to support the orderly and safe reduction of personnel, at the request of the State Department, and to facilitate an accelerated process of working through SIV applicants. This is a temporary mission with a narrow focus.”John Kirby
According to Kirby, the battalions consist of two Marine units and one Army. On Thursday, he expected them to be in Kabul by the weekend. However, Kirby did not specify the exact units nor where they came from.
All battalions will report to Rear Adm. Peter Vasely, who is in charge of Afghanistan Forward. His mission picks up where Operation Resolute Support left off.
The 1,000 troops in Qatar will be helping with medical screenings and other parts of the SIV process to move it along faster. However, the process is dragging on since there are thousands of applications to approve.
Sometime in the next week, a brigade from the 82nd Airborne Division is going to Kuwait to secure an airport there, though Kirby did not name the specific airport.
Withdrawl Deadline Approaches
The deadline to completely withdraw from the country is at the end of August, a deadline that Kirby says the additional troops will not stay past.
Kirby said after the mission, “we anticipate having less than 1,000 troops on the ground to support the diplomatic mission in Kabul, which we all agree we still want to be able to have.”