Thousands of troops defended the airport
The speed of regime change in Afghanistan was unexpected to the outside world and caught the U.S. military unprepared. While Kabul airport staged a chaotic flight, the United States added 1000 troops to Afghanistan, bringing the current force in Afghanistan to 6000. Ironically, the US military sent more troops to Afghanistan in order to “withdraw troops in an orderly and safe manner”. However, according to media reports, the security situation at Kabul airport is not optimistic.
U.S. military adds 1000 troops to Afghanistan
According to the ABC website reported on the 16th, a U.S. official said that 1000 officers and soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army were ordered to go directly to the Afghan capital to assist in evacuating U.S. personnel and helping Afghans on U.S. missions, bringing the number of U.S. troops returning to Afghanistan to 6000. The report also said that Frank Mackenzie, commander of the U.S. central command, met with Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar last Sunday and asked them not to interfere with the U.S. mission at the airport. McKenzie said the United States has firepower to support its defense mission at Kabul airport. At present, the US embassy has also moved there. U.S. Secretary of state Abraham Lincoln said on Sunday that the embassy was moved to the airport to “ensure their safe and reliable operation”. It is reported that the US president authorized the dispatch of 1000 additional US troops to Afghanistan last Saturday to help “withdraw troops in an orderly and safe manner”.
An important task of the additional troops is to protect Kabul airport and maintain order. According to the US “power” website “theater” channel, Kabul International Airport has become a “foreign controlled island” in the Afghan capital. A large number of locals trying to escape Afghanistan are stranded at the airport. At present, the airport is completely managed by the U.S. military and is prohibited from commercial aircraft“ An important role of the US military is to protect the airport, otherwise the airport will be completely controlled by the Taliban “.
However, the order at Kabul airport seems to be out of control“ The “theater” said that the sound of automatic weapon shooting appeared in a video in the airport on social media, and then the U.S. military shouted “go back” in English. The Wall Street Journal reported that at least three people were killed in a gunfight at the terminal of Kabul International Airport that morning. Reuters reported on the same day that witnesses said that the gunfight killed at least 5 people, but it was unclear whether they were shot or trampled to death.
This is not the first surge
In fact, this is not the first time that the U.S. military has increased its troops in Afghanistan since it announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Pentagon spokesman Kirby told reporters that the U.S. Department of defense will send three infantry battalions to Afghanistan, one from the army and two from the Marine Corps to assist in the evacuation, according to the official website of the American Naval Academy on the 12th. Kirby said that they “will go to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul in the next 24 to 48 hours”. Kirby declined to specify where the three battalions came from, but said they were at the U.S. central command (jurisdiction). According to the data on the website of the American Naval Academy on August 9, the 24th Marine Expeditionary team and the Iwo Jima amphibious combat readiness group were deployed in the Gulf of Oman. Kirby called the operation “a highly focused temporary mission”.
He also mentioned that the U.S. Department of defense will also send about 1000 air force and army personnel to Qatar to help apply for Afghan visas. In addition, an infantry brigade combat team will be deployed from Fort Bragg to Kuwait. If necessary, these forces will provide additional security for the airport“ We expect these troops to arrive in Kuwait sometime next week. ”
It is reported that the USS Reagan aircraft carrier attack group stationed in Japan has been supporting the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan near the Middle East since June. Kirby said that although the United States has sent more troops, the United States will still end the withdrawal as planned by the end of August. Earlier this summer, Biden set August 31 as the withdrawal deadline.