In the brazen attack on the U.S., a Russian military intelligence unit has secretly paid bounties. To Taliban-linked fighters to kill U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. The report represents a deadly escalation in Moscow's repeated efforts to undermine U.S. policy. And came as the administration was seeking to find ways to extract itself from the decades-long war by making peace with the Taliban.
President Donald Trump briefed on the activity months ago. Citing the officials with knowledge on the matter but the U.S. took no evident action. In recent years, the unit has linked to assassination attempts or revenge plots aimed at destabilizing the West. Yet it would be the first time that is known to have initiate attacks on Western troops, a major escalation of force against the U.S... It did not identify specific U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan killed as a result of the Russian bounty payments.
The Afghan War
Twenty Americans killed last year in the bloody Afghan war. Which began in 2001, but it was not clear if any of these deaths were under suspicion. The matter discussed at the White House national security council as early as March. According to the sources, U.S. policy members developed a menu of options. From a diplomatic slap to further increases in U.S. sanctions or other unnamed responses.
— American Military News (@AmerMilNews) June 26, 2020
But officials said the "White House has taken no response to date and no explanation for the delay given. The bounties allegedly came as peace talks to end the long-running war in Afghanistan were ongoing. And information kept a closely guarded secret until the administration. I began expanding briefings this week." They also shared intelligence with the British government whose troops said to be among those targeted.
The news hit the Trump Administration as it was already grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. And as Trump hoped that a peace deal with the Taliban would end the Afghanistan War in the last few months of his re-election campaign.
Russia fiercely denied the allegations on Friday night, accusing the fake news and claiming. That the story had placed the lives of employees of the Russian embassies in the United States and the United Kingdom at risk.