US general in Afghanistan suggests Russia arming the Taliban
Apr 30, 2017, 01:24
Mattis, visiting Afghanistan for the first time as President Donald Trump's defense secretary, said that "any weapons being funneled here from a foreign country would be a violation of worldwide law".
Top U.S. military officials said Monday that the United States must confront Russian Federation for providing weapons to the Taliban for use against American-backed forces in Afghanistan.
Also today, at least four security guards were killed when a suicide bomber hit a USA -operated base in the east of the country, all this amid reports that Russian Federation is funneling weapons to the Taliban, something the top US commander in Afghanistan essentially confirmed.
General John Nicholson, the top American commander in Kabul, would not provide specifics about Russia's role in Afghanistan but said he would "not refute" Moscow's involvement including giving weapons to the Taliban. The Taliban has made unprecedented gains across the country since the Obama administration ended the USA combat mission in 2014.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reacted harshly Tuesday to Secretary of Defense James Mattis's accusation that Russia is funding the Taliban in Afghanistan.
He acknowledged that 2017 was going to be another tough year for Afghan security forces and the global troops stationed there.
But Russia on Tuesday denied it was providing weapons to the Taliban, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying the us claims were unsubstantiated.
CHARLIE D'AGATA: U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul today as the country descended further into chaos.
"2017 is going to be another tough year", he said. President Ashraf Ghani has also removed several corps commanders, including that of the Shaheen Corps, following the attack. And that's why, as you mentioned earlier, the minister of defense, the chief of staff and some other senior generals have been replaced.
The United States dropped a almost 22,000-pound bomb in Afghanistan, the largest non-nuclear weapon the USA has ever used in combat.
"Any weapons being funneled here from a foreign country would be a violation of global law", he said.
Afghanistan's largest television station has reported last Friday's deadliest-ever assault by the Taliban on a major military base in northern Balkh province left more than 250 soldiers dead and accused authorities of "hiding the truth".
He branded the Taliban "barbaric", but would not be drawn on recent calls to send more troops to help battle the resurgent militants, who are gearing up for the spring fighting season.
Military vehicles drove Taliban fighters dressed in Afghan army uniforms past checkpoints and into the base.
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