Leaked US Top Secret files claim that British special forces are operating in Ukraine and a Pentagon spokesman has warned this present a “very serious” risk to national security.
The Kremlin has said that they already knew that the NATO and “Western forces” are operating in Ukraine and are “taking part in military action.”
The leak of the Top Secret US documents alleged that the US have 14, UK 50, Lativia, 17, Netherlands 1 and France have 15 special forces operating in Ukraine.
The chair of the Commons defence select committee warned that the leaks of such sensitive files can “easily endanger lives” and is urging for an “urgent review.”
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The Ministry of Defence warned against taking the US leaked files at “face value,” however intelligence officials told the New York Times that the documents are genuine.
The committee chair Tobias Ellwood told The Times, “Given our long-established lead in scale and capability when it comes to elite forces, it will come as no surprise that our special forces are doing much of the heavy lifting.
“But this deliberate, large-scale disclosure of sensitive material could easily endanger lives and should prompt an urgent review about who has access to sensitive information and how it is shared.”
Chris Meagher, a spokesman for the Pentagon, has urged caution in “promoting or amplifying any of these documents”, adding that “it does appear that slides have been doctored”.
The New York Times and other US media outlets have cited intelligence officials who have confirmed the leaked documents are in fact genuine after there were concerns some of the files were doctored.
The files have Top-Secret markings and the documents suggest that UK special forces could have operated in Ukraine between February and March this year.
Former special forces commander Dan Jarvis, who is now the Labour MP for Barnsley Central, told The Times such operations are “by necessity shrouded in secrecy.”
He added, “Any compromise of secret material regarding their deployment or numerical strength is not only politically embarrassing but also militarily disadvantageous.
“It risks jeopardising the security and effectiveness of those operations and could put lives at risk.”
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the government’s policy is not to comment “on special forces,” however the MoD have warned of “a serious level of inaccuracy.”
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said on Twitter in response to the alleged classified US information, “The widely reported leak of alleged classified US information has demonstrated a serious level of inaccuracy.
“Readers should be cautious about taking at face value allegations that have the potential to spread disinformation.”
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, was asked on Tuesday if the US are bracing for more documents to be leaked, he said, “The truth and the honest answer to your question is: We don’t know
“And is that a matter of concern to us? You’re darn right it is.
“We don’t know who’s behind this, we don’t know what the motive is.”