Taliban spokesman says ‘Russian bounties’ story is fake news

  • Date of Publication : 23/07/2020 at 13:00 GMT
Print
A
A

Last month, The New York Times, citing anonymous U.S. intelligence sources, reported that a Russian intelligence unit offered bounties to the Taliban for killing American and coalition soldiers in Afghanistan. The newspaper said U.S. President Donald Trump was briefed on the issue.

In an exclusive interview with AsaiNews, Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s spokesman in Doha, said the New York Times report is fake.

Shaheen did not deny attacking US soldiers, but said that his forces do so based on “ideology,” and for the cause of “establishing an Islamic government,” not for cash. “We are not fighting for anyone for money.”

The story, he said, “has to do with internal politics” in Washington, and is aimed at spoiling a peace agreement signed between the US and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, in February. Talks are currently underway between the militants and the US-backed Afghan government to shape a post-US Afghanistan.

Shaheen’s suspicion echoes that of some anti-war commenters in the US, who argued that the New York Times story was aimed at undermining the peace process, in a bid to keep the US engaged in its nearly two-decade war in Afghanistan.

Print
A
A