ABC, NBC Skip U.S. General Suggesting Russia Arming Resurgent Taliban

Secretary of Defense James Mattis made a visit to Afghanistan Monday, where he and General John Nicholson stated that a top U.S. adversary was backing the Taliban. “9,000 U.S. troops are on the ground trying to help the Afghan army hold back a resurgent Taliban,” announced Anchor Scott Pelley during CBS Evening News, “But the job is getting tougher by the day thanks in part to Moscow.” The revelation was chilling considering U.S. troop could be coming up against those weapons, and it went unreported on ABC and NBC that evening.

“U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul today as the country descended further into chaos,” reported Charlie D’Agata. “Worsening the situation, new allegations the Russians are supplying the Taliban with weapons.”

In a news briefing, Secretary Mattis told the press that “We'll engage with Russia diplomatically…We’ll do so where we can, but we're going to have to confront Russia where what they're doing is contrary to international law.” Mattis wouldn’t touch on specifics, but top U.S. General in Afghanistan John Nicholson was a little more upfront when asked:

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So to be clear, you’re not refuting that they are sending weapons to the Taliban?

JOHN NICHOLSON: Oh, no, I'm not refuting that.

“The visit comes after a sneak attack by the Taliban on an Afghan military base in Mazar i Sharif that killed at least 140 Afghan soldiers,” D’Agata continued. “The Taliban now control about 40 percent of the country.” He also noted that according to witnesses of the base attack, Taliban fighters heinously “opened fire on unarmed Afghan soldiers returning from a mosque.”

As further evidence of a resurgent Taliban, D’Agata noted that “The Taliban also claimed responsibility for another attack today at Camp Chapman, a base that houses CIA and U.S. special operations forces.”

And according to the Associated Press, “Earlier Monday, a senior U.S. military official told reporters in Kabul that Russia was giving machine guns and other medium-weight weapons. They also quoted Nicholson as saying “’anyone who arms belligerents who perpetuate attacks like the one we saw’ isn't focused on ‘the best way forward to a peaceful reconciliation.’”

This isn’t the first time we’re hearing about possible Russian influence in America’s longest last war. According to The Telegraph over a month ago, “Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, Nato's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, said Moscow appeared to an increasingly influential player in Afghanistan.” They also report that Scaparrotti shared that information during a Senate hearing.

With Russian meddling often being on the top of the liberal media’s mind, it’s surprising that both ABC and NBC didn’t report this shocking development. 

Transcript below:

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CBS Evening News
April 24, 2017
6:37:57 PM Eastern

SCOTT PELLEY: Another important story that we're watching tonight is the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. 9,000 U.S. troops are on the ground trying to help the Afghan army hold back a resurgent Taliban. But the job is getting tougher by the day thanks in part to Moscow. Charlie D'Agata has this.

[Cuts to video]

CHARLIE D’AGATA: U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul today as the country descended further into chaos. Worsening the situation, new allegations the Russians are supplying the Taliban with weapons.

JIM MATTIS: We're going to have to confront Russia where what they're doing is contrary to international law.

D’AGATA: His top general, John Nicholson, made it more clear.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So to be clear, you’re not refuting that they are sending weapons to the Taliban?

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JOHN NICHOLSON: Oh, no, I'm not refuting that.

D’AGATA: The visit comes after a sneak attack by the Taliban on an Afghan military base in Mazar i Sharif that killed at least 140 Afghan soldiers. Military vehicles drove Taliban fighters dressed in Afghan army uniforms past checkpoints and into the base. Survivors said the militants then opened fire on unarmed Afghan soldiers returning from a mosque. Mattis called the attack barbaric. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for another attack today at camp Chapman, a base that houses CIA and U.S. special operations forces.

In 2009, seven CIA officers were killed here in a suicide bomb attack. There are no American casualties this time.

The Taliban now control about 40 percent of the country. The U.S. sent 300 Marines to Helmand province this month, and General Nicholson has said he may need a few thousand more troops. Despite a resurgent Taliban, the U.S. military targeted ISIS militants two weeks ago, dropping a 22,000-pound bomb on a network of caves and tunnels near the border with Pakistan. There's been no confirmation of ISIS deaths.

[Cuts back to live]

Defense secretary Mattis said today that 2017 is going to be another tough year for Afghanistan security forces, Scott, and there is no word if General Nicholson's request for more U.S. troops will be granted.

PELLEY: Charlie D'Agata for us in our London newsroom. Charlie, thanks.

NBDaily Foreign Policy Afghanistan Russia Government Agencies Bias by Omission Military War on Terrorism Taliban ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Charlie D'Agata Scott Pelley James Mattis

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