The U.S. Marine Corps has announced it will deploy some 300 troops to southern Afghanistan this spring as part of a NATO-led mission to train Afghan forces.
The troops will be deployed to the volatile southern province of Helmand, the scene of fierce clashes between the Taliban and Afghan forces in recent months.
The majority of the strategic, opium-producing province is under the control of the militants, with only the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, fully under government control.
Nearly 10,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan since the withdrawal of most NATO forces in 2014.
Since the pullout, Afghan forces have struggled to fend off the Taliban, which has gained control of more territory than any time since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.