1,400 U.S. Marines to arrive Afghanistan within weeks: NATO
The deployment of 1,400 U.S. Marines to Afghanistan, announced by Washington early this month would begin within weeks, spokesman of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (SAF) Josef Blotz said here Monday.
Pentagon chief Robert Gates had announced deployment of additional 1,400 U.S. Marines to Afghanistan early this month to bolster the already some 140,000-strong NATO-led troops stationed in the militancy-plagued country, Xinhua repoted.
"They (1,400 Marines) are expected to arrive in the next few weeks to operate in Afghanistan," Blotz told newsmen at a press conference.
The fresh troops, he added would be deployed in the troubled Helmand province.
Notorious for growing poppy and increasing militancy, Helmand in south Afghanistan has been regarded as the hotbed of Taliban insurgents in the conflict-ridden country.
Out of some 140,000 NATO-led forces stationed presently in Afghanistan 90,000 of them are Americans, according to a statistic released by ISAF on December 14, 2010.
Meantime, the United States will begin pulling out troops from Afghanistan in July this year.