24 December 2013 Military News
- Afghanistan releases over 500 Taliban prisoners Iran Press TV 24 Dec 2013 -- The Afghan government says it has released more than 500 Afghan and Pakistani Taliban prisoners during the past 15 months.
- US may ease stance on Afghan deal Iran Press TV 24 Dec 2013 -- A report says the United States may be easing its stance toward a controversial security pact with Afghanistan, days before the December 31 deadline.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Russia to Test-Fly New Bomber in 2019 RIA Novosti 24 Dec 2013 -- The Russian Air Force plans to begin test flights of a new strategic bomber in 2019, the commander of the long-range fleet said Monday.
- Russia Test Fires New Yars Ballistic Missile RIA Novosti 24 Dec 2013 -- Russia carried out a successful test-firing of an RS-24 Yars ballistic missile from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwest Russia on Tuesday, a military representative said.
- Ivan Gren Landing Ship to Join Russian Navy in 2015 – Shipyard RIA Novosti 24 Dec 2013 -- The Yantar shipyard in the Russia's western-most region, Kaliningrad, said Tuesday that the delivery of a new large landing ship to the Russian navy had been delayed until 2015.
- Russia Set to Launch 3 Military Satellites RIA Novosti 24 Dec 2013 -- A Russian Rokot carrier rocket will lift off from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia early on Wednesday to put three military satellites into orbit, the Defense Ministry said.
- Russian Navy to Escort Ships Removing Syria Chemical Arms RIA Novosti 24 Dec 2013 -- Warships from the Russian naval task force in the Mediterranean will escort ships transporting chemical weapons stockpiles being removed from Syria, a high-ranking Russian military source said Tuesday.
- Preparations for upcoming Syria peace conference 'on track,' says UN chief UN News Centre 23 Dec 2013 -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that preparations for the long-awaited international conference aimed at achieving a political solution to the crisis in Syria are moving ahead, and stressed that negotiations are the only way to end the ongoing bloodshed.
- Security Council doubles UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan in face of spreading conflict UN News Centre 24 Dec 2013 -- The Security Council today authorized almost doubling the United Nations peacekeeping force in strife-torn South Sudan to nearly 14,000 in the face of a rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis that has left hundreds of civilians dead and tens of thousands of others driven from their homes.
- South Sudan troops retake Bor from rebels: President Iran Press TV 24 Dec 2013 -- South Sudan President Salva Kiir says government troops have retaken control of the key town of Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, from rebel forces.
- Mass grave found in rebel-held S Sudan town: UN Iran Press TV 24 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations says a mass grave has been unearthed in a rebel-held town in South Sudan amid fresh reports of brutal ethnic killings and growing fears of a civil war in the country.
- UN human rights chief urges South Sudanese leadership to curb escalating violence UN News Centre 24 Dec 2013 -- Amid ethnically targeted killings, arbitrary detentions, rising displacement and now the discovery of mass graves, the United Nations human rights chief today urged the South Sudanese leadership to curb the escalating violence in the world's youngest nation and make it absolutely clear that those committing abuses will be held accountable.
- South Sudan: Army Retakes State Capital from Rebels VOA 24 Dec 2013 -- South Sudan's government says its army has retaken one of two state capitals seized by renegade soldiers last week.
- South Sudan Women, Children Hard Hit as Violence Spreads: Aid Agencies VOA 24 Dec 2013 -- United Nations officials and aid agencies warned Tuesday that the humanitarian situation in South Sudan is rapidly deteriorating, with women and children the hardest hit.
- More must be done to aid those uprooted in Central African Republic conflict, UN warns UN News Centre 24 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations voiced increasing concern today for the security of 710,000 people uprooted by conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) amid difficulty of access to the sites where they have sought shelter and reports of youths prowling around with grenades and machetes.
- Doctors Group: 200 Wounded Since Friday in CAR VOA 24 Dec 2013 -- A medical aid group says renewed violence in the Central African Republic has wounded nearly 200 people over the past five days.
- Ban calls for maximum restraint amid latest violence in Israel, Gaza and West Bank UN News Centre 24 Dec 2013 -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced concern about the escalating violence in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, and called for maximum restraint by all parties to prevent further bloodshed.
- Somalia: UN envoy calls for credible electoral process in Puntland UN News Centre 24 Dec 2013 -- The top United Nations official in Somalia has renewed his call for a timely and credible political process that should lead to a new Puntland parliament this year and regional presidential elections next month.
- Indian, Pakistani Army Commanders Meet on Kashmir VOA 24 Dec 2013 -- Pakistan and India have agreed to take steps to ensure a cease-fire along the Line of Control in disputed Kashmir. The agreement came at a Tuesday meeting of senior military commanders, the first such interaction in 14 years.
- UN officials welcome new Yemeni agreement on State structure, status of south UN News Centre 24 Dec 2013 -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his envoy for Yemen have welcomed an agreement, reached yesterday through the country's ongoing National Dialogue Conference, on the structure of the State and the status of the southern region, which has experienced separatist movements.
- Exiled Internet Spy Snowden Says Mission Accomplished RIA Novosti 24 Dec 2013 -- Former US security contractor Edward Snowden has accomplished his mission of sparking debate by revealing classified United States government documents about the programs he worked on, he said in his first sit-down interview with journalists since arriving in Russia.
- NSA Leaker's 'Mission Accomplished' Comment Derided by Lawmaker VOA 24 Dec 2013 -- Fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden's comments that he "already won" his battle with the National Security Agency have provoked a strong reaction from a lawmaker who oversees America's intelligence-gathering programs.
- UN rights experts criticize proposed UK investigation into torture allegations UN News Centre 24 Dec 2013 -- Two United Nations human rights experts today criticized the British Government's decision to replace an independent judge-led inquiry into the United Kingdom's involvement in torture and abuses of people detained overseas in counter-terrorism operations with a parliamentary inquiry.
- N. Korea Nuke Restart 'More Extensive' Than Expected VOA 24 Dec 2013 -- A U.S.-based research group says North Korea has likely made 'a more wide-ranging, extensive' effort to restore its main nuclear site than previously thought.
- Iran, G5+1 talks to be resumed in coming days, says Zarif ISNA 24 Dec 2013 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that the country and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will hold experts negotiations in coming days.
- Salehi: IAEA inspectors soon to visit Gachin mine IRNA 24 Dec 2013 -- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali-Akbar Salehi said on Tuesday that inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency will soon visit Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas, Hormuzgan Province.
- IAEA to visit Gachin uranium mine soon: Salehi Iran Press TV 24 Dec 2013 -- The Iranian nuclear chief says the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors will soon visit the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas, southern Iran.
- Car Bomb Blast Hits Egyptian Police Compound VOA 24 Dec 2013 -- Egyptian officials are blaming a car bomb for an early morning explosion that killed at least 13 people when it ripped through police headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura.
- Egypt Proclaims Muslim Brotherhood 'Terrorist' Organization RFE/RL 24 Dec 2013 -- Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a 'terrorist' organization.
- 'Iran to launch new indigenous carrier by 2015' Iran Press TV 24 Dec 2013 -- A senior Iranian aerospace official says the Islamic Republic plans to launch into space a new indigenously designed and manufactured carrier by the end of the next Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2015).
- Russia and Kazakhstan Agree 3-Year Space Center Deal RIA Novosti 24 Dec 2013 -- Russia and Kazakhstan have agreed a three-year roadmap for the joint use of the Baikonur space center, the Russian presidential administration said on its website Tuesday.
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