In a significant development, US intelligence has concluded that Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan were offered money by Russian forces to kill American troops and other coalition forces stationed in the war-torn Asian nation, the New York Times reported on Friday (June 26).
According to the report, a Russian military intelligence unit linked to assassination attempts in Europe had offered bounties to Taliban-linked terrorists to carry out attacks in 2019. "This primitive informational dump clearly demonstrates low intellectual abilities of the propagandists at the American intelligence service," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement cited by the RIA news agency.
The White House, the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are yet to break silence on this matter. The New York Times, however, claimed that US President Donald Trump has been briefed on the intelligence finding but President Trump is yet to authorize any steps against Russia in this matter.
After fighting against Taliban Afghanistan for around two decades the US is now looking for a way to remove its forces from Afghanistan. The Trump administration is also looking at ways to broker peace between the US-backed government in Afghanistan and the Taliban, which has regained control over a large part of the country.
The US and the Taliban sealed a deal in February 2020 that called for a phased withdrawal of American troops. Around 8,600 US troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan and it is expected that many of them will soon fly out of the country as part of the deal.