US: Rus­sians will pay if boun­ties were paid

Geelong Advertiser - - WORLD -

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.

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