UK to send in hundreds of troops in Afghanistan rescue mission – Taliban close in on Kabul

THE UK is sending 600 troops to Afghanistan to help British nationals leave, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced, as the Taliban sweep across the country.

Afghanistan: Kabul likely to fall to Taliban says Dr Afzal Ashraf

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The military personnel will arrive in Kabul over the coming days as the Taliban continue to advance. The number of staff at the British Embassy in Afghanistan’s capital has been cut to a core team focused on providing consular and visa services for those needing to rapidly leave the country.

Mr Wallace said: “I have authorised the deployment of additional military personnel to support the diplomatic presence in Kabul, assist British nationals to leave the country and support the relocation of former Afghan staff who risked their lives serving alongside us.

“The security of British nationals, British military personnel and former Afghan staff is our first priority.

“We must do everything we can to ensure their safety.”

In response, senior Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood tweeted: “AFGHANISTAN: What would Churchill say? This is NOT our finest hour. What happened to GLOBAL BRITAIN and AMERICA IS BACK?

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The UK is sending 600 troops to Afghanistan to help evacuate Britons (Image: GETTY)

“The largest high tech military alliance ever – defeated by an insurgency armed with mines RPGs and AK47s. “We can and must do better.

The move comes after the Foreign Office changed travel advice on Friday to recommend all British nationals leave Afghanistan as soon as possible, while commercial travel options remain available.

The website says: “All British nationals in Afghanistan are advised to leave now by commercial means. If you are still in Afghanistan, you are advised to leave now by commercial means because of the worsening security situation.

“The level of consular assistance the British Embassy can provide in Afghanistan is extremely limited, including in a crisis. Do not rely on the FCDO being able to evacuate you from Afghanistan in an emergency.

READ MORE: Biden News: Afghanistan ‘unravelled’ the day US began troop withdraw

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (Image: GETTY)

“In arranging your departure from Afghanistan, ensure your travel documents are up to date and that you have the necessary visas for onward travel.”

It added: “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Afghanistan. Specific methods of attack are evolving and increasing in sophistication.

“You should note an overall increased threat to Western interests in Kabul. Follow the instructions of local authorities. There is a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country.”

Meanwhile, the US is temporarily deploying 3,000 troops to evacuate staff from its embassy.

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Fighting in Afghanistan has intensified after Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of US forces (Image: GETTY)

The US will cut staff at its embassy in Kabul to a “core diplomatic presence”.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “We’ve been evaluating the security situation every day to determine how best to keep those serving at the embassy safe.

“Accordingly we are further reducing our civilian footprints in Kabul in light of the evolving security situation.

“We expect to draw down to a core diplomatic presence in Afghanistan in the coming weeks.”

Fighting in Afghanistan has intensified after Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of US forces.

Mr Biden’s move was followed by allies including the UK.

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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