KABUL: The Pentagon is preparing a force of around 650 troops to send to Afghanistan in the coming days to protect US forces as they withdraw from the country, CNN reported Tuesday.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin authorized the deployment of the troops late last week as part of a package of military assets being sent to the country to help with the US withdrawal, which is due to compete on September 11.
The ground troops are largely expected to come from the 75th Ranger Regiment, which already has some personnel in the region as part of a special operations force unit, the report said.
The Rangers will be sent with dedicated aircraft capable of transporting them around the world, as well as close air support such as AC-130 gunships to defend them if they are targeted.
This is while General Austin Scott Miller, commander of Resolute Support Mission of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said on Sunday that some troops were being moved to the country.
“All of our forces are now preparing to retrograde. Officially the notification date will be the first of May, but at the same time as we start taking local actions we have already begun that,” Miller told reporters.