CENTCOM Chief Says US Sharing Some Intelligence With Taliban
21:13 GMT 26.08.2021 (Updated: 08:57 GMT 15.11.2022)
Earlier in the day, several explosions were heard in the vicinity of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, with the incidents resulting in dozens of fatalities among US troops and Afghan civilians.
General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of the United States Central Command, said on Thursday that there is an intelligence-sharing operation between the US and the Taliban*, noting that the two share "a common purpose" of finishing the ongoing evacuation by 31 August.
“As long as we’ve kept that common purpose aligned, they’ve been useful to work with,” McKenzie said, adding that some information in regard to terror threats is also being shared. "We share versions of this information [on terrorist threats] with the Taliban so that they actually make searches... We think they've thwarted some."
He also said that he does not have any information that would lead him to believe that the Taliban intentionally allowed the Thursday attacks to occur in Kabul.
“I don’t know. I don’t think there is anything to convince me that [the Taliban] let it happen,” McKenzie said in response to a question concerning the Taliban’s potential complacency in allowing the attacks to occur.
The CENTCOM commander said that the intelligence-sharing program has been in effect since 14 August.
Before his statement, Politico reported that Washington shared with the Taliban a list of names of Americans and Afghan allies to grant entry to the Kabul airport, adding that the Biden administration's move to do so sparked anger among some US lawmakers and military officials.
The Pentagon has confirmed that the Thursday bombings in Kabul killed at least 12 US soldiers.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries