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Russia offered Taliban cash to kill US troops: NYT

Russia offered Taliban cash to kill US troops: NYT

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On
Jun 27, 2020 - 11:44

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): American intelligence officials claim Russian spies offered bounties to Talibaninfo-icon militants for killing US and coalition forces in Afghanistaninfo-icon, The New York Times reported.

The Russian intelligence objective was not to end the long-running war but to sabotage Afghan peace talks, the newspaper said, quoting unnamed sources

President Donald Trump was briefed on the intelligence finding and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the issue at an interagency meeting in late March.

Officials developed a menu of potential options -- starting with lodging a diplomatic complaint with Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorise any step.

In 2003, Russia declared the Taliban movement a terrorist group but their ties grew recently. The Taliban’s political office members in Qatar have travelled to Moscow several times.

If confirmed, Russia’s involvement in operations targeting Americans may trigger outrage on Capitol Hill and questions about why the administration has not responded to it.

A Kremlin spokesman said Russia was unaware of the accusations. Russia has more recently been accused by the United States of quietly providing weapons to the Taliban.

sa/mud

 

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