Intelligence suggests Russian bounties led to deaths of several US troops in Afghanistan: report

Between 15 and 30 U.S. service members have died every year in Afghanistan since 2015, while eight have been killed so far in 2020.

In this June 10, 2017 photo provided by Operation Resolute Support, U.S. Soldiers with Task Force Iron maneuver an M-777 howitzer, so it can be towed into position at Bost Airfield, Afghanistan. (Sgt. Justin Updegraff/AP)

Russian bounties on coalition forces in Afghanistan are thought to have resulted in the deaths of several U.S. service members, according to intelligence findings reported on by The Washington Post on Sunday.

Evidence obtained during interrogations of enemy combatants linked the recently reported program — which Russia has denied ever existed — to multiple incidents in which U.S. forces were killed, the Post reported. It was unclear how many service members were targeted or how many deaths were specifically linked to the alleged Russian policy.

A spokesperson for the National Security Council told the Post that “the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated.” The White House has claimed that President Trump was never briefed on the program’s existence. The information did lead to a high-level meeting in the White House over how to respond after it was confirmed by the CIA, the Post reported Sunday.

Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an ‘anonymous source’ by the Fake News @nytimes. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us,” Trump tweeted.

For more on the story: The Hill and The Washington Post