The United States has dispatched two additional bombers to Qatar to carry out airstrikes in Afghanistan if needed, as the Pentagon and NATO begin a complete troop withdrawal from the Asian country in earnest in the coming days.
The US Air Force said in a statement that two B-52H Stratofortress bombers had “arrived at al Udeid Air Base, Qatar,” on Monday.
The bombers, it said, “are joining two other B-52 bombers” that arrived at the base last week and would be responsible for ensuring the protection of US and other NATO forces on the ground in Afghanistan if needed as they will be leaving the country, starting on May 1.
That withdrawal process is supposed to be completed by September 11.
In addition to the aircraft deployment, the Pentagon is also assembling a force of around 650 troops to send to Afghanistan to protect US forces as they leave the Asian country, according to several military officials.