U.S. Marines board a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Cpl. Alejandro Pena | U.S. Marine Corps Photo

WASHINGTON – The White House confirmed Thursday that the U.S. military has begun its withdrawal from Afghanistan and has proactively deployed additional troops and military equipment to protect the armed forces in the area.

“Potential opponents should know that if they attack us as we retreat, we will defend ourselves. [and] our partners, with all the tools at our disposal, “White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters traveling on Air Force One.

“While these measures will initially lead to an increase in the armed forces, we continue to advocate evicting all US military personnel from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021,” she said, adding that the Biden administration is unifying Intended “safe and responsible” exit from the war-torn country.

The Pentagon has temporarily delivered B-52H Stratofortress aircraft to US Central Command, the combatant command that oversees American operations in the Middle East. A US Navy strike group is also in the area to provide assistance.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has previously said that the Department of Defense leadership will continue to consider the need for additional military capabilities as U.S. and coalition forces continue to migrate.

Earlier this month, Biden announced a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, ending America’s longest war.

The removal of approximately 3,000 US soldiers coincides with the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks that spurred America’s entry into protracted wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Biden’s withdrawal schedule breaks with a proposed deadline agreed with the Taliban by the Trump administration last year. According to this agreement, all foreign armed forces should have left Afghanistan by May 1st.