Reuters OMAR SOBHANI
Sources told the “Axios” website that the administration of US President Donald Trump will declassify unconfirmed intelligence information about China providing rewards for targeting Americans in Afghanistan.
The website quoted officials in the US administration, who did not name them, as saying that US intelligence had informed President Trump of this information, and that officials are currently working to verify the authenticity of the initial intelligence reports.
One of the sources familiar with the discussions in this regard said, “We are dealing with caution with the initial reports … but any reports on the safety of our forces are taken seriously.”
Another source mentioned that the Policy Coordination Committee held a meeting on December 22 to discuss the issue, where the focus was on efforts made to verify the authenticity of the reports and discuss the protection of American forces in Afghanistan.
An American official said that the intelligence report talks about China offering “financial rewards” to “non-governmental organizations” in Afghanistan in exchange for attacks on American forces, adding that the US National Security Council is supervising the investigation of the matter.
The official did not clarify whether the talk was about the “Taliban” movement, only using the phrase “non-governmental bodies.”
The timing of this offer was also not clear, and it is only assumed that this happened after the signing of the agreement between the United States and the “Taliban” in February, according to the official, who also noted that no casualties have occurred among the American forces since then.
Last June, the American New York Times quoted unnamed sources as claiming that Russia offered rewards to the Taliban in exchange for targeting US forces, but the US Department of Defense and Intelligence said that it had not found any evidence of the validity of these allegations.
Moscow also confirmed that these allegations are baseless. The “Taliban” movement also denied it.