101st Airborne Division Afghanistan US Troops
Afghanistan

US Suspends Afghanistan Deployments

Around 1,500 troops and civilians who recently arrived in the country have been put into self-isolation.

101st Airborne Division Afghanistan US Troops

The United States military has said it is pausing the deployment of new troops to Afghanistan amid the global coronavirus outbreak.

The US has also begun quarantining 1,500 troops and civilians who recently arrived in the country in a bid to protect them from COVID-19.

Troops who are already in Afghanistan may have their deployments extended so missions can continue.

The announcement comes as the US begins withdrawing personnel from Afghanistan as part of the peace deal signed with the Taliban last month.

Around 1,500 service members, civilians and contractors who arrived in the country in the past week are currently self-isolating in screening facilities, the top US commander in Afghanistan said in a statement.

There are around 1,100 British Army troops currently based in Afghanistan.

General Scott Miller said most are either new deployments or people returning from leave and they are being isolated "out of an abundance of caution, not because they are sick".

He also said the US-led coalition is limiting access to critical personnel and bases.

So far, 21 US and coalition personnel are showing "flu-like symptoms" and are being treated in isolation.

In Iraq, meanwhile, the US-led coalition's training mission in the country has been suspended, due to coronavirus fears.

Cover image: Library picture of US troops in Afghanistan (Picture: US Department of Defense).