The Pentagon appeared to break with the State Department on Saturday on the relationship between the Haqqani community and the Taliban — conceding that there was “co-mingling” after the State Dept. had referred to as them separate entities.
The community’s chief, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is deputy chief of the Taliban and his uncle Khalil Haqqani was positioned in command of safety in Kabul after the militants seized the metropolis final week.
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Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby was requested by Fox News about whether or not the U.S. thought of the Taliban and the Haqqani community “separate entities.” State Dept. Press Secretary Ned Price had described them as such the day earlier than when requested if the safety coordination with the Taliban prolonged to the Haqqani community.
“No, it doesn’t,” Price mentioned on Friday. “The Taliban and the Haqqani Network are separate entities.”
On Saturday, Kirby initially mentioned he wasn’t going to provide a characterization of the Taliban or Haqqani. He was then pressed on the reality Haqqani is deputy chief of the Taliban and in addition has a $10 million bounty on his head.
“We know that there is a specific amount of commingling right here. I imply, there’s a marbling, if you’ll, of Taliban and Haqqani,” he mentioned, however mentioned he was pushing again on the relevance of that to the evacuation out of Kabul.
The U.S. designated the community a terror group in 2012 and has been linked to bombings and different assaults — and in addition has ties to al Qaeda.
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The group had additionally attacked the U.S. embassy in Kabul in 2011 and is blamed for “the largest truck bomb ever constructed,” a 61,500-pound gadget intercepted by Afghan safety forces in 2013.
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“The Haqqanis expose the lie that there is a line between Taliban and different jihadist teams, particularly al Qaeda,” retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, a Trump-era nationwide safety adviser, advised The Wall Street Journal Thursday.
The Pentagon introduced at a press convention that it had taken out two “high-profile” ISIS-Okay terrorists in an air strike late Friday, coming after the terror assault on Kabul Airport on Thursday that killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.