The United States (US) government has been scrambling to assess the fallout from a major leak of classified defence documents that has rattled the Joe Biden administration and members of Congress.
The Justice Department has launched a probe into how the highly sensitive documents, which allegedly include intelligence regarding the war in Ukraine and work done by the US' spy agencies, were leaked on social media.
What happened? The documents were leaked online in March on social media platform Discord, according to CNN. Several of the documents contained markings such as 'top secret.'
What do the documents contain? Several of the documents purportedly contain highly classified information, such as the US' alleged eavesdropping expeditions on key allies like Israel, Ukraine, and South Korea, CNN reported.
Others include information on the level at which the US has managed to penetrate into Russia's Ministry of Defence and a mercenary organisation named Wagner Group.
Some documents also point to key weaknesses in Ukraine's weaponry, air defence systems, and battalion sizes amid its offensives with Russia. One document also purportedly reveals that the US has been spying on Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
A report also states that Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, has been encouraging protests against the Benjamin Netanyahu government.
How are countries reacting? Several US allies are said to have expressed dismay over the leaked documents.
Countries have been undertaking damage assessments, in a bid to figure out whether any of their own sources and methods have been compromised.
“We expect the US to share a damage assessment with us in the coming days, but we cannot wait for their assessment. Right now we are doing our own,” an official from the Five Eyes told CNN.
The Five Eyes is an intelligence-sharing group which includes the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
“We are poring over these documents to figure out if any of the intelligence originated from our collection,” the official added.
Meanwhile, the US government has been facing pressure from Congress, with a large number of House and Senate members demanding answers regarding the leak.
(With inputs from CNN.)