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France is deploying special forces to rescue its citizens stranded in war-torn Afghanistan, according to the country’s media.
French troops have evacuated nearly 400 people, including French civilians and Afghans who helped the country’s military, from the capital city of Kabul, which the Taliban captured on Sunday. The French special forces have rescued civilians outside of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, which has been the site of the United States’ chaotic evacuation efforts, according to Military Times.
British special forces have conducted similar operations in recent days to rescue British civilians stranded in the country.
France’s evacuation efforts come as U.S. military leaders say they do not have the “capability” to rescue Americans stranded outside the airport.
“The forces that we have are focused on the security of the airfield. And you know how important that is, and you know what happens if we—if we lose the ability to provide that security,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters Wednesday. “We don’t have the capability to go out and collect up large numbers of people.”
U.S. forces have struggled to evacuate Americans stuck in Kabul amid the United States’ troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. There are thousands of U.S. citizens stranded in Kabul “with no ability to get to the airport” because of Taliban-controlled checkpoints, according to the Washington Post.