Biden sends 5,000 troops to Afghanistan as the Taliban captures key northern city
Biden sends 5,000 troops to Afghanistan as the Taliban captures key northern city

President Joe Biden announced Saturday that he has authorized the deployment of 5,000 troops to Afghanistan to ensure "an orderly and safe" drawdown and evacuate U.S. personnel as well as Afghans who helped American troops as Taliban militants continued to make rapid territorial gains across the country. The president dispatched 1,000 troops in addition to the 3,000 the Pentagon sent to Afghanistan earlier this week and 1,000 troops who are already on the ground, according to a defense official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.

The troops will help evacuate military personnel from Kabul as the Taliban continues to expand territorial gains at a stunning speed, raising fears they could soon topple the Afghan government.  Biden said U.S. officials have warned Taliban officials that any action on the ground in Afghanistan that threatens the safety of U.S personnel or the mission there "will be met with a swift and strong U.S. military response."

 The president made the announcement in a statement that outlined a series of actions he was taking to help Afghan forces blunt the Taliban onslaught, less than three weeks before the U.S. is slated to complete its troop withdrawal. Biden's decision to send more forces comes as the Taliban seized control of the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, the country's fourth largest city, dealing another blow to the besieged Afghan government. The militant group now controls about 24 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, quickly encroaching on the capital, Kabul. 

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