A new contingent of marines arrived in Kabul on Saturday, AP reports. A last-minute decision to re-enter Afghanistan could hinder the plans of the Joe Biden administration to complete the withdrawal of troops that had been in the country for 20 years before August 31, as previously announced by the US President.
3,000 troops are to ensure the safe evacuation of U.S. embassy and Afghan allies personnel through Kabul airport as Taliban forces approach the Afghan capital.
After an advance team of Marines arrived on Friday, another group arrived at Kabul International Airport on Saturday, US Central Command spokesman William Urban said.
The decision on the number of troops remaining after the deadline in Biden’s withdrawal order hinges on whether the US leaves the Afghan embassy open, takes away all diplomats, or moves it to Kabul airport.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani addressed the nation with a televised address urging them not to abandon the gains 20 years have passed since the United States toppled the Taliban in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The experts, whose opinion is cited by AP, believe that, nevertheless, the Afghan government may fall in the coming days.
The Taliban have already taken over the entire Logar province south of Kabul and approached the outskirts of the capital, as well as much of northern, western and southern Afghanistan in a three-week dizzying offensive, as US forces begin to withdraw from the country.
Until the weekend, 4,000 employees remained at the US Embassy, it is not known how many people will be evacuated due to the changed situation around Kabul.
The Biden administration explicitly warned Taliban officials that the US would respond if the Taliban attacked Americans during an urgent deployment and evacuation of diplomats. About a thousand more employees of the US State Department were sent to the Gulf countries to issue visas to Afghan embassy staff and translators who decided to leave the country.
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