Wednesday, April 28, 2021

U.S. state department orders staff to leave Afghanistan - Global Times

The US State Department on Tuesday ordered non-essential staff to leave the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, due to security concerns.

The state department said in a travel advisory that it had "ordered the departure from US Embassy Kabul of US government employees whose functions can be performed elsewhere."

US Charge d'Affaires to Afghanistan Ross Wilson tweeted that the departure was approved "in light of increasing violence & threat reports in Kabul."

He added that the departure would affect "a relatively small number of employees at the US Embassy in Kabul effective immediately."

The move came days ahead of May 1, the date President Joe Biden announced earlier this month that US and NATO troops will begin to withdraw from Afghanistan.

However, the previous Donald Trump administration and the Afghan Taliban set May 1 as the deadline to pull US troops out of the country. The Taliban had warned of consequences if the Biden administration fails to follow through that deadline.

There are roughly 3,500 US troops in Afghanistan, and about 7,000 NATO troops in the country rely on US logistics and security support.

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