Aug 12, 2021 - World

UK to send 600 troops to Kabul amid rising violence

Photo of a person walking past a large fire in a desert

Afghan security force members in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Photo: Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua via Getty Images

The United Kingdom will send 600 troops to Kabul to help with logistical support and protection of British nationals, the defense secretary announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The Taliban has stepped up attacks since the U.S. began withdrawing troops in an attempt to retake Afghanistan. The terrorist group captured Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city and the birthplace of their movement, earlier Thursday.

  • Around 4,000 British nationals are believed to be in Afghanistan, per PBS.
  • UK troops will be on hand to assist with relocation where required, such as cases involving former Afghan staff who "risked their lives serving alongside us," per Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

What they're saying: "The security of British nationals, British military personnel and former Afghan staff is our first priority," Wallace said in a statement. "We must do everything we can to ensure their safety.

  • The UK affirmed its commitment to supporting Afghanistan and noted that it will provide more than £100 million ($117.4 million) for improving critical health and education services.

The big picture: The Pentagon will also deploy troops to Afghanistan's international airport to facilitate a partial evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, according to the State Department.

Go deeper