Several people familiar with the matter told the newspaper it is unclear how many American soldiers may have died due to the rewards.
CNN previously reported
A European intelligence official said that Russian intelligence officers of the Military Intelligence Agency (GRU) have offered money to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan as rewards if they kill US or British soldiers there. The official told CNN that the incentives provided by the Russians had led, in their assessment, to casualties among the coalition forces, which would be the death or injury of service personnel. The official did not specify the date, number or nationality of the victims, or whether these deaths or injuries.
There has been discussion since February and March in the American intelligence community and among senior military leaders about the Russian operation to assess intelligence and what is happening exactly, a US official He told CNN
On sunday. The source said that there are some efforts to protect American forces due to intelligence.
New York times I mentioned it first
On Friday, US intelligence concluded months ago that Russian military intelligence offered the rewards, in the midst of peace talks. President Donald Trump was briefed on intelligence findings and the White House National Security Council held a meeting around it in late March, according to The New York Times, quoting officials familiar with the matter.
However, Trump has repeatedly denied receiving a briefing
About intelligence that the Russians attempted to bribe Taliban fighters to kill American forces.
“Intel just informed me that it did not find this information credible, and therefore did not report it to me or to the VP” He claimed in a tweet on Sunday evening
But John to. Olliot, a spokesman for the National Security Council, I told The Times on Sunday night
, “The validity of the underlying allegations is still being evaluated.”
The president had tweeted earlier on Sunday that “there were not many attacks” on US forces by Taliban fighters as evidence that intelligence might be “false.”
A tweet went further than Saturday’s statement from the White House in which press secretary Kylie McNani did not deny the report’s authenticity, but instead said that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had not been “informed of the alleged Russian intelligence”.
The Russian embassy in Washington on Friday condemned the Times report, describing it as “baseless allegations” that led to death threats against Russian diplomats in Washington and London. The Taliban also rejected the report.
There have been more than 2,400 deaths of U.S. service personnel since the start of the longest US war in 2001. Last year was the bloodiest in five years for the United States in Afghanistan, with 23 service members killed during operations in the country in 2019.
This story has been updated with an additional background and tweet from the president.
Nick Patton Walsh, Barbara Starr, Veronica Strakwalsi, Devan Cole and Radina Zhigova contributed to this report.