While the Pentagon and White House have maintained a tight lid on any strategic information coming out of Afghanistan, Russian military intelligence has been closely monitoring U.S. activities in the country, claiming that 18 U.S. soldiers were captured and then executed by the Taliban, reports Geostrategy, the global intelligence news agency.
All of the soldiers are believed to have been executed on April 10 after the United States ignored a Taliban and al-Qaida deadline for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. No bodies have been recovered.
The Russians also assert, in details confirmed in part by U.S. officials, that U.S. forces have been mired in a guerrilla war against determined al-Qaida and Taliban forces.
From Oct. 7, 2001, until September 2002, 152 Americans were killed in Afghanistan with another 215 wounded, according to the intelligence data.
The bloodiest battle took place in March 2002 during Operation Anaconda in the Pactia province in southeastern Afghanistan.
At least 60 U.S. soldiers, say the Russians, were killed or wounded in the battle, most of them by mines, light-weapons and mortar fire.
Russian intelligence claims that after initial gains, U.S. forces have failed to find or dislodge al-Qaida or Taliban troops from numerous areas, particularly along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
The result has been a demoralized U.S. military and the withdrawal of many troops from combat in an effort to reduce casualties, the report concluded