US to send 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan: report

US to send 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan: report
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The U.S. military will send about 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing U.S. officials.

The decision follows President Trump’s new South Asia strategy, announced in August, which keeps U.S. troops in the country and sends additional forces.

Those extra troops would bolster the Afghan military in its fight against the Taliban, al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and bring the total number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to about 14,500. 

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Pentagon officials said the Defense Department will not comment on a troop increase until an official announcement from 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.

The news comes as Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford and State Secretary Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonOvernight 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 on Wednesday briefed lawmakers about Trump’s South Asia strategy and North Korea. 

House lawmakers said after the meeting that the officials would not say how many more troops are being sent to Afghanistan.

Mattis last week signed orders to send additional troops to Afghanistan but did not specify the size of the force. He added that he will not discuss the details until after he briefs Congress.

Trump was widely expected to send roughly 4,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, a recommendation made by the Pentagon months ago.

If confirmed, the additional forces would join the 11,000 troops already in the country. The Pentagon last month officially acknowledged there are thousands more troops in the country than the 8,400 previously reported.