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US set to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan
June 20, 2017, 9:36 am

The additional US forces will likely play a supervisory and training role in support of the Afghanistan army [Xinhua]

The Pentagon is expected to dispatch an additional 4,000 troops to strengthen its current contingent of 8,500 in Afghanistan.

US media reports say that the announcement will be made this week. This comes just days after Afghanistan intelligence said that the Islamic State had seized the mountainsides of Tora Bora, once occupied by Al Qaeda.

Both the Taliban and the Islamic State have been increasing the number of attacks throughout Afghanistan, most noticeably in the capital Kabul.

On Thursday, IS claimed it had carried out a suicide bomb attack against a mosque frequented by Shia worshippers, killing four.

In late May, a massive truck bomb exploded near Kabul’s diplomatic zone killing at least 150, wounding more than 400 and inflicting considerable damage to embassies housed there.

Although no group claimed responsibility, the attack highlighted the need for beefed up security in the capital.

The additional troops are largely to play a training and supervisory role with Afghanistan military forces. But some troops will be engaged in advanced engagement with the Taliban.

Meanwhile, several US legislators are pushing the Trump administration to deliver a comprehensive Afghanistan strategy. The US military has been engaged against the Taliban and other elements since it invaded the country in 2001.

The Department of Defense has promised to deliver a South Asia strategy by mid-July.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies