About 3,000 US troops will go into Afghanistan to assist with any departure of US diplomats and any possible evacuations, a US defense official tells CNN.
The troops will provide security for US personnel.
“The military will be there to help effect an orderly and a safe reduction in our personnel. I do expect that the military will help with these relocation operations but as we know, Hamid Karzai International Airport does remain open, commercial flights continue to take off and land at the airport. So the military is not the only way in or out of Afghanistan,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a State department briefing Thursday.
Price rejected the notion that the drawdown was a prelude to an evacuation.
“This is not a full evacuation,” he said. “I think it's a very important distinction between planning and contingency planning.”