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Iran Press TV

US intelligence involved in 'drug trafficking' in Afghanistan: Russia envoy

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 05 July 2020 2:38 PM

The Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan says the US intelligence has been involved in "drug trafficking" in the country, while dismissing accusations by Washington that Moscow has colluded with the Taliban to kill American troops.

Zamir Kabulov was quoted by Russia's TASS News Agency as making the comment on Sunday, after The New York Times claimed in an article that Russian military intelligence had offered "rewards" to Taliban-linked militants for attacks on American soldiers and other coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Moscow has vehemently denied the allegations, calling the article fake news.

"Those wonderful US intelligence officers, who accuse us of different things, are involved in drug trafficking. Their planes from Kandahar, from Bagram [airfield near Kabul] are flying wherever they want to - to Germany, to Romania - without any inspections," Kabulov said.

Kabulov underlined that US involvement in drug trafficking to Europe through uncharted planes is an open secret in Afghanistan, saying, "Every citizen of Kabul will tell you that, everyone is ready to talk about that."

US President Donald Trump said in a Twitter post last week that US intelligence did not find the Times story credible.

The Taliban likewise have denied having had any deal with the Russian intelligence services.

The United Nations says more than 80 percent of the world's opium is produced in Afghanistan and the bulk of narcotics produced in the country are destined for European states.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 shortly after the September 11 attacks. While the invasion ended the Taliban's rule in the country, it has failed to eliminate the militant group.

American forces have since remained bogged down in Afghanistan through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now, Donald Trump.

About 2,400 US soldiers have been killed, along with unknown numbers of Afghan troops and Taliban militants. Over 100,000 Afghans have been killed or injured since 2009 when the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties.

There have been no reported attacks by the militant group on the US positions since Washington and the Taliban reached an agreement in February.

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