US general in Afghanistan suggests Russia arming the Taliban


By ROBERT BURNS
AP Nationwide Safety Correspondent

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – America should confront Russia for offering weapons to the Taliban to be used towards American-backed forces in Afghanistan, prime U.S. army officers stated Monday.

At a information convention with Protection Secretary Jim Mattis at his aspect, Gen. John Nicholson, the American commander in Afghanistan, would not present specifics about Russia’s position in Afghanistan. However stated he would “not refute” that Moscow’s involvement consists of giving weapons to the Taliban.

Earlier Monday, a senior U.S. army official informed reporters in Kabul that Russia was giving machine weapons and different medium-weight weapons. The Taliban are utilizing the weapons within the southern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan, based on the official, who briefed journalists on intelligence info on situation of anonymity.

Russia denies that it supplies any such help to the Taliban, which dominated Afghanistan till the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. Russia says contacts are restricted to safeguarding safety and getting the arduous-line spiritual fundamentalists to reconcile with the federal government – which Washington has failed for years to advance. Russia additionally has promoted easing international sanctions on Taliban leaders who show cooperative.

Requested about Russia’s exercise in Afghanistan, the place it fought a bloody struggle within the Nineteen Eighties and withdrew in defeat, Mattis alluded to the growing U.S. considerations.

“We’ll interact with Russia diplomatically,” Mattis stated. “We’ll achieve this the place we will, however we will need to confront Russia the place what they’re doing is opposite to worldwide regulation or denying the sovereignty of different nations.”

“For instance,” Mattis advised reporters within the Afghan capital, “any weapons being funneled right here from a overseas nation can be a violation of worldwide regulation.”

Mattis met with President Ashraf Ghani and different senior authorities officers simply hours after the nation’s protection minister and Military chief resigned over a bloodbath of greater than one hundred forty Afghan troops at a army base final Friday.

The rebel assault was the most important ever on a army base in Afghanistan, involving a number of gunmen and suicide bombers in military uniforms who penetrated the compound of the 209th Corps of the Afghan Nationwide Military in northern Balkh province on Friday, killing and wounding…



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