Intelligence gleaned from U.S. military interrogations of captured militants has led U.S. officials to believe Russian bounties offered to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of several American service members, multiple people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.
The exact number is unclear, the Post says. The New York Times first reported the existence of the bounties on Friday, adding Sunday that U.S. spies and commandos first warned their superiors about the suspected Russian plot as early as January.
The CIA reviewed the intelligence and confirmed the bounties, the Post reports, but the Trump administration has not yet decided how to respond. One official told the Post that Zalmay Khalilzad, the special envoy for Afghanistan, thinks Russia should be directly confronted, but some officials in charge of Russia on the National Security Council are wary of taking any immediate action.