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Report: U.S. To Send Nearly 4,000 Troops To Afghanistan


US Defense Secretary James Mattis (R) and US Army General John Nicholson, commander of US Forces Afghanistan, in Kabul, April 24, 2017

A U.S. administration official is quoted as saying the Pentagon will send almost 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, hoping to break a stalemate in the 16-year war.

The unidentified official said on June 15 that the decision could be announced as early as next week, according to the Associated Press.

The bulk of the extra forces will train and advise Afghan troops, the official said, while a smaller number would be assigned to counterterror operations against the Taliban and Islamic State group.

Asked for comment, a Pentagon spokesman said, "No decisions have been made."

Mattis told U.S. lawmakers on June 15 that President Donald Trump has given him the authority to establish troop levels in Afghanistan.

U.S. media have reported that Mattis will recommend sending another 3,000-5,000 U.S. troops to break what he has called a "stalemate" between U.S.-backed government forces and the Taliban.

The United States currently has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by AP
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