Mattis signs orders to send more troops to Afghanistan

Mattis signs orders to send more troops to Afghanistan
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Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital | Mattis, Tillerson reportedly opposed move | Pentagon admits 2,000 US troops are in Syria | Trump calls on Saudis to 'immediately' lift Yemen blockade Trump has yet to name ambassadors to key nations in Mideast Mattis, Tillerson warned Trump of security concerns in Israel embassy move MORE said Thursday that he has signed deployment orders to send more troops to Afghanistan.

“Yes, I’ve signed orders, but it’s not complete. In other words, I’ve signed some of the [orders for] troops that will go and we are identifying the specific ones,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon, according to multiple reports.

The move follows President Trump’s new South Asia strategy, announced earlier this month, which will keep U.S. troops in the country and will likely include sending 3,900 more troops.

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Mattis did not say how many troops would be sent as part of the deployment orders, but they could deploy within days.

The additional forces would join the 11,000 troops already in Afghanistan. The Pentagon on Wednesday officially acknowledged there are thousands more troops in the country than the 8,400 previously reported.

“By and large this is to enable the Afghan forces to fight more effectively. It's more advisers, it's more enablers. Fire support, for example, and there's some other things,” Mattis said.

Mattis added that he will not speak on the details until after he briefs Congress on the developments next Wednesday.