US: Russians will pay if bounties were paid
TOP Pentagon officials pledged to “take action” if the US military could corroborate intelligence suggesting Moscow paid militants linked to the Taliban to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defence Secretary Mark Esper spoke before a congressional committee as the Trump administration comes under pressure to explain media reports claiming the president was briefed on the intelligence – but did nothing in response.
Milley said the information was “not corroborated”.
“We’ll get to the bottom of it. We are going to find out if, in fact, it’s true. And if it is true, we will take action,” he continued, without specifying what kind of action might be taken.
Washington has known for years that Russia has been supporting the Afghan insurgents, including through arms shipments, Milley said.
But, in the case of the Russians, “we do not have concrete corroborating evidence, intelligence to show directing. That’s a big difference,” he said.
The White House has said President Donald Trump was not briefed on the intelligence because it was unverified.