A source familiar with the plan told the Associated Press that Canadian special forces will be deployed to Afghanistan where Canadian staff at the embassy in Kabul will be evacuated before closing.
TORONTO – Canadian special forces will be deployed to Afghanistan where staff at the Canadian embassy in Kabul will be evacuated before closing, a source familiar with the plan told The Associated Press.
The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue and spoke on condition of anonymity, did not say how many special forces would be sent.
Just weeks before the U.S. is scheduled to end the war in Afghanistan, the Biden administration is also delivering 3,000 fresh troops to Kabul airport to help partially evacuate the U.S. embassy.
The moves highlight the astonishing speed of the Taliban’s takeover of much of the country, including their capture on Thursday of Kandahar, the second largest city and the birthplace of the Taliban movement.
Britain also said Thursday it would send about 600 troops to Afghanistan to help British citizens leave the country amid growing concerns about the security situation. Danish lawmakers have agreed to evacuate 45 Afghan nationals who worked for the Danish government in Afghanistan and offer them a stay in that country for two years.
About 40,000 Canadian troops have been deployed in Afghanistan for 13 years as part of a NATO mission before the 2014 withdrawal.
The first air cargo shipment in Afghanistan refugees who supported the Canadian military mission in Afghanistan arrived in Canada earlier this month. Last month, the Canadian government announced a special emergency resettlement program for Afghans believed to have been an “integral part” of the Canadian Armed Forces mission, including interpreters, cooks, drivers, cleaners, construction workers, embassy guards and family members. .
The government says more than 800 Afghans who supported the mission have moved to Canada in the last decade, but acknowledges that many more remain in Afghanistan.
The Taliban, which ruled the country from 1996 until US forces invaded after the 9/11 attacks, captured 12 of the 34 Afghan capitals as part of a week-long purge that gave them effective control of about two-thirds of the country.
The seizure of Kandahar and Herat marks the biggest rewards so far for the Taliban. The former military mission of Canada was stationed in Kandahar. More than 150 Canadian soldiers were killed during the mission in Afghanistan.