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Pentagon sends additional Marines to Afghanistan's Helmand to counter Taliban attacks

News Agencies | Updated on: 9 August 2017, 15:01 IST

Additional U.S. Marines have been dispatched to Afghanistan to strengthen its forces in the violent Helmand province where Taliban has increased their attacks.

Pentagon decision of deploying more troops in Afghanistan comes when recently the Afghan Security and Defense Forces have successfully repelled the multiple attacks of Taliban fighters who targeted a bridge in the district and create a hurdle to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) pipeline project in Gereshk district in the southern Helmand province in which over 40 Taliban insurgents and four soldiers were killed.

The deployment is not a part of a Trump administration strategy for Afghanistan but 100 additional Marines are being delpoyed on a request from the Marine commander in the region.

"The depolyment will be to bolster Marines who are already deployed to the US Central Command area of operations", Tolo News quoted U.S. Central Command spokesman maj. Josh Jacques as saying..

"It will increase the capability for the commander on the ground," Jacques said.

The report said a spokesman for Resolute Support, NATO's train and assist mission in Afghanistan, also confirmed the move. He said the forces would be deployed "for a short period of time to assist Marines already there" advising Afghan forces as they fight the Taliban.

The US advisers are typically attached to Afghan fighting units to assist with ground strategy and airstrike coordination, according to report.

The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson said National Security Council has already had three sessions "exploring a full range of options for Afghanistan."

"And when I say a full range of options, I mean the entire landscape. And I think it's reflective of the deliberations that we want to undertake," Tillerson said.

Currently, there are about 8,500 US forces in Afghanistan conducting counter-terrorism missions in Afghanistan.In addition, US forces support NATO's train, advise and assist mission to help Afghan forces fight the Taliban.


First published: 9 August 2017, 15:01 IST