White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has confirmed – to some degree – one of the most incendiary revelations from the Pentagon leaks about US special forces operating inside Ukraine amid the conflict with Russia.
Asked on Wednesday about a leaked document claiming that Washington and some of its NATO allies have special forces stationed in Ukraine, Kirby admitted to a “small US military presence” – but claimed they operate only at the American embassy in Kiev. Speaking to a Fox News reporter on the sidelines of President Joe Biden’s trip to Northern Ireland, Kirby declined to disclose the specific number of US troops on the ground.
“There is a small US military presence at the embassy in conjunction with the defense attaches office, to help us work on accountability of the material that is going in and out of Ukraine,” Kirby said. “So they’re attached to that embassy and to that defense attache.”
The US troops “are not fighting on the battlefield,” Kirby added. The American soldiers also provide unspecified security services, Fox News reported, without identifying a source of the information.