Amid Taliban onslaught, US sends troops to Afghanistan for evacuation

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With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States is sending additional troops into the country to help evacuate some personnel from the embassy in Kabul, a US official says.
The troops would provide ground and air support for the processing and security of Americans being sent to the Kabul airport, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a plan not yet made public, said on Thursday (early Friday AEST).
The move suggests a lack of confidence by the Biden administration in the Afghan government's ability to provide sufficient diplomatic security in the capital as the Taliban mounts an offensive that has rapidly conquered key cities in recent days.
Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Farah, capital of Farah province southwest of Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Mohammad Asif Khan) (AP)
The Pentagon had kept about 650 troops in Afghanistan to support US diplomatic security, including at the airport.
The official said an unspecified additional number of troops, as well as aircraft, were to be brought in to assist with the embassy drawdown.
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