29 April 2015 Military News
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Casualty Update 29 Apr 2015 [PDF]
- Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq AFPS 29 Apr 2015 -- U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
- Kunduz clashes displace over 2,000 Afghan families Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- More than 2,000 Afghan families have been displaced due to recent clashes between the Taliban militants and the security forces in the northern province of Kunduz.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Department Announces New Chair of the Defense Business Board DoD 29 Apr 2015 -- The White House and the Department of Defense announced today that Michael Bayer will return as the chair of the Defense Business Board (DBB).
- DoD to Restructure U.S. Aviation Brigade in Germany AFPS 29 Apr 2015 -- The Defense Department will restructure the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and subordinate units in Germany as part of the Army's Aviation Restructuring Initiative in Europe, defense officials said today in a statement.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter's Conversation with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen DoD 29 Apr 2015
- DoD Announces Departure of General Counsel Stephen Preston DoD 29 Apr 2015 -- The Pentagon's top lawyer, Stephen Preston, general counsel of the Department of Defense, notified President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter that he will be leaving federal service at the end of June, after completing six years in the Obama administration.
- US Marines share communications practices with Armed Forces of the Philippines WESCOM's 3rd Marine Brigade USMC News 29 Apr 2015 -- U.S. Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade based out of Camp Pendleton, California, spent the day sharing communications practices with Philippine Marines from 3rd Marine Brigade, Western Command today.
- Japanese and U.S. Submarine Forces Bolster Alliance in Guam NNS 29 Apr 2015 -- Rear Adm. William R. Merz, commander, Submarine Group 7, and Vice Adm. Masakazu Kaji, commander, Fleet Submarine Force of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) visited Naval Base Guam April 26-28.
- Nowhere To Run: DARPA Develops Target-Tracking Bullets Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- The technology, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), was shown in February tests to help both experienced and novice shooters accurately hit a moving target, according to video released Monday.
- US Navy Tests Software Which Would Make it Easier to Land Jets on Carriers Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- The United States Navy on Tuesday successfully field-tested its new software system for F-18 fighter jets, designed to make it easier for the aircraft to land on carriers at sea.
- UN rights experts welcome US review of lethal drone attacks, urge transparency and accountability UN News 29 Apr 2015 -- A group of United Nations independent experts today welcomed the announcement by the United States Government of a review of two counter-terrorism operations involving the use of drones, while stressing the need for transparency and accountability.
- NATO Secretary General praises Croatia for contributions to shared security NATO 29 Apr 2015 -- Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to NATO headquarters on Wednesday (29 April 2015) for talks on the security environment and NATO's continued adaptation. Calling Croatia a "staunch Ally", Mr. Stoltenberg thanked the President personally for her "deep strength and dedication to this Alliance for many years."
- NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission Prepares for Handover Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- The 37th rotation of NATO's air policing mission is finishing at the end of the month; the next rotation will be led by Norway.
- Russia to Renew Production of Tu-160 'Blackjack' Strategic Bomber Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- Russia will renew the production of its Tu-160 (Blackjack) supersonic strategic bomber and missile carrier, Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.
- Russian defense minister orders to consider restarting Tu-160 missile carrier production TASS 29 Apr 2015 -- Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu gave instructions on Wednesday to study the issue of resuming the production of Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) supersonic strategic bombers at the Kazan aviation plant in the Volga Republic of Tatarstan.
- Third batch of equipment for S-400 missile regiment arrives in Russia's Kamchatka TASS 29 Apr 2015 -- A third batch of equipment for a regiment of the S-400 'Triumph' air defense missile systems has arrived from Vladivostok to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, spokesman for Russia's Eastern Military District Roman Martov said on Wednesday.
- France to Boost Defense Spending to Fight Terror VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- French President Francois Hollande has announced a roughly $4 billion boost in defense spending to shore up security and fight terrorism. The country remains on high alert following January's attacks in Paris.
- France Boosts Military Spending Despite Mistral Deadlock Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- France is set to increase its defense budget by $4.2 billion over four years from 2016, despite not yet reaching agreement over a cancelled $1.29 billion contract to supply warships to Russia.
- France Probes Reports of Child Sex Abuse By Its Soldiers in CAR VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- Authorities in France are investigating allegations that French soldiers sexually abused a number of children during a peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic last year.
- Ex-army chiefs warn against scrapping Trident Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- A group of former army chiefs and influential military figures have slammed any talk of scrapping Britain's nuclear deterrent, calling it "irresponsible folly."
- World has learned 'too little' from past, says Ban on Day of Remembrance for chemical warfare victims UN News 29 Apr 2015 -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has marked the Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare with a strong appeal for a new future without such weapons, saying 'the world has learned too little from the past – at the expense of innocent people whose lives have been destroyed by chemical attacks."
- Norway Goes Military: Army Spending Skyrockets on 'Russian Threat' Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- Norway has vowed to increase its military spending by as much as half a billion USD to boost defense capability around its northern border with Russia citing a so-called 'Russian threat'; meanwhile, the country has increased its arms exports to the US by as much as $10 million, which is apparently being used in conflict zones such as Iraq.
- April 29, 2015 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 29 Apr 2015
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 4/29/15 The White House 29 Apr 2015
- 29 April 2015 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 29 Apr 2015
- Saudi planes airdrop arms to terrorists in Yemen Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- The Yemeni military officials say Saudi aircraft have recently dropped weapons to militants in the southern city of Ta'izz.
- Ban condemns attack on Yarmouk, as UN agency delivers 'critical' relief to displaced in camp UN News 29 Apr 2015 -- The Secretary-General has today strongly condemned the shelling and aerial bombardment of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, which occurred despite assurances from the Syrian Government that the camp would not be targeted while civilians remained inside.
- Amid ongoing fighting in Syria, UN agency delivers critical relief to Yarmouk's displaced UN News 29 Apr 2015 -- Humanitarian efforts aimed at delivering critical relief to thousands of conflict-affected civilians trapped in Syria are continuing despite the ongoing hostilities in the region, the United Nations agency tasked with supporting Palestine refugees confirmed today.
- Draft political deal for Libyan parties is 'work in progress,' UN envoy tells Security Council UN News 29 Apr 2015 -- Announcing today that he had outlined for the Security Council his draft proposal for a political agreement among Libya's opposing factions, the United Nations envoy for the country warned that ongoing "chaos" there has sparked a series of dire events in the wider region – forcing thousands of desperate civilians to seek unsafe passage across the Mediterranean and a spate of recent bomb attacks against embassies in Tripoli.
- UN's Libya envoy offers new power-sharing plan Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- The United Nations envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, has issued a deadline to the country's warring sides to respond to his latest plan for a power-sharing agreement, diplomats say.
- South China Sea no showcase for U.S.-Japanese alliance People's Daily 29 Apr 2015 -- The South China Seaunexpectedly became a showcase of the U.S.-Japanese alliance when U.S. President Barack Obamamet visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abeamid worldwide cries for the latter to apologize for Tokyo's past war crimes.
- China 'gravely concerned' about disputed islands statement: FM People's Daily 29 Apr 2015 -- China is 'gravely concerned' about the statement issued after the ASEAN Summit on the South China Sea issue, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told a news conference on Tuesday.
- China Tells US, Japan to Refrain From Sabotage on Disputed Islands Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- China's Foreign Ministry told the US and Japan to refrain from influencing the South China Sea issue, which they 'are not parties to.'
- Kenya backpedals on closure of Somali refugee camp IRIN 29 Apr 2015 -- Kenya appears to have softened its stance on the imminent closure of a camp hosting more than a third of a million Somali refugees, weeks after the deputy president announced it would happen within three months, as he reacted to the massacre at Garissa University.
- Ugandan ADF Rebel Commander Killed in Congo VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- The Democratic Republic of Congo's army says it has captured a key base of the Ugandan Islamist ADF rebels in the eastern DRC, and killed an ADF chief of staff.
- Ban calls for immediate end to hostilities in northern Mali amid surge in violence UN News 29 Apr 2015 -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for an immediate end to hostilities in northern Mali and expressed concern over ceasefire violations that have occurred in the country in recent days at a "critical moment" in the peace process to bring all parties to sign the draft peace agreement.
- UN envoy Gordon Brown welcomes release of 200 Nigerian girls held captive by Boko Haram UN News 29 Apr 2015 -- The United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, has welcomed the release of 200 girls from captivity by Boko Haram and called for the immediate release of all abducted girls, ahead of his meeting tomorrow with Nigerian President-Elect.
- Saudi king ousts crown prince, foreign minister IRNA 29 Apr 2015 -- King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia replaced his crown prince and foreign minister, in a dramatic reshuffling of his top officials, it was reported on Wednesday.
- Saudi King Makes Abrupt Shuffle of Successors, Top Positions VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- Saudi Arabia's king made a series of dramatic shuffles to the country's line of succession Wednesday, amid a wave of turmoil in the Arab world and what analysts say are growing questions about Salman's weeks-old reign.
- Saudi King Appoints New Crown Prince, Foreign Minister VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz reshuffled a number of top posts Wednesday, including naming his nephew Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the new crown prince.
- Abe Addresses US Congress, Dogged by Wartime Issues VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has become the first Japanese leader to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. Abe highlighted the strong bonds between Japan and the United States and expressed support for a proposed Pacific trade agreement. But some Asian-American lawmakers expressed bitter disappointment that Abe failed to apologize to women his country sexually enslaved during World War II.
- Japan's Abe Offers 'Repentance' on WWII VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday expressed 'deep repentance' over Japan's role in World War II, even as he declared Tokyo's emergence as a global security player in the face of China's rising power in Asia.
- Marshal cargo ship seized by judicial arrest warrant IRNA 29 Apr 2015 -- Following seizure of Marshal Islands flag-carrier cargo ship, Iranian Navigation and Ports Organization said in a statement that the vessel belonged to MAERSK shipping line and it was seized by Iranian coastguards on Court of Justice decree on April 28.
- Seizing merchant ship in Iranian waters in conformity with int'l law IRNA 29 Apr 2015 -- Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday that seizing of a commercial ship with Marshal Islands' flag in Iranian water on Tuesday was in conformity with the international law.
- Iran says seizure of ship a legal matter ISNA 29 Apr 2015 -- Iran seized a cargo ship in the Persian Gulf because the company operating the vessel owed an outstanding debt to an Iranian private company which it is refusing to pay, an official said.
- GOP hawks challenge Pentagon over Marshal Island-flagged vessel seizure Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- US Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have challenged a Pentagon statement which says the US has no military obligation to defend Marshall Island-flagged vessels, saying Iran's seizure of the cargo is a "deliberate provocation" against America.
- Seizure of Maersk ship no violation of maritime rules: Iran Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham has defended as legal Iran's decision to impound a cargo ship in the Persian Gulf, saying the vessel was seized by Iranian Navy forces based on a court decision.
- Iran Calls Cargo Ship Interception a Commercial Issue VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- Iran's foreign minister said the interception of a cargo ship Tuesday in Iranian waters was a commercial legal matter, not a security or political issue.
- Iran Seizes Cargo Ship In 'Provocative' Move RFE/RL 29 Apr 2015 -- Iranian patrol boats intercepted a cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz April 28 and forced it into Iranian territorial waters by firing shots across its bow.
- Zarif stresses NPT role for N. disarmament, peaceful use of N. energy ISNA 29 Apr 2015 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed the NPT role as a fundamental basis of an international regime for nuclear disarmament and improving peaceful use of nuclear energy.
- Iran's Zarif: Nuclear deal opportunity should not be wasted Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the opportunity for achieving a nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries "should not be wasted."
- Iranian FM Says Committed to Getting Final Nuclear Deal VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- Iran's foreign minister said a nuclear deal between his country and the six major world powers is an 'opportunity that should not be missed.' Speaking at New York University on Wednesday, Mohammad Javad Zarif also addressed the seizure of a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday.
- Iran says will stand against chaos instigators in Middle East Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says Iran is determined to counter "the Takfiri-Zionist currents" instigating chaos and instability in the Middle East.
- Senate rejects amendment to Iran bill, not considering Iran deal treaty Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- The US Senate has voted against an amendment to a bill requiring a possible nuclear agreement with Iran to be reviewed by Congress.
- Iraq's Shiite cleric says U.S. defense bill may split Iraq People's Daily 29 Apr 2015 -- Iraq's firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday threatened to hit the U.S. interests in and out of Iraq over a proposed defense bill yet to be approved by the U.S., which he said could divide Iraq.
- Iraqi cleric warns US Congress against sectarian bill Press TV 29 Apr 2015 -- Influential Iraqi Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, has warned US Congress against passing a controversial bill recognizing the Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq as separate countries.
- Envoy: Russians Preparing for Kim Jong Un Visit VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- A Russian diplomat in Pyongyang has confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un accepted Moscow's invitation to Russia's Victory Day, the Brazilian ambassador to Pyongyang said.
- German Government Accused of Lying to Parliament Over Spy Claims Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- The German Government has been accused of lying to its parliament, the Bundestag, when it denied any knowledge of collusion between its intelligence agency and the US National Security Agency in economic espionage.
- Bill to Modify NSA Mass Spying on Citizens Reintroduced to US Congress Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- A group of US lawmakers have reintroduced to the House of Representatives and Senate the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would prohibit the National Security Agency (NSA) from bulk collection of US citizen communications metadata without a warrant.
- Lukashenka Calls Belarus 'Island Of Stability And Order' RFE/RL 29 Apr 2015 -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says his country 'remains an island of stability and order' even as it 'smells of war again in Europe.'
- New UN special envoy on Ebola response makes first visit to Sierra Leone UN News 29 Apr 2015 -- The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today said that surveillance and community engagement still require improvement in some areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone where new cases continued to surface, a day after the new Special Representative for UN Ebola Response, Peter Graff, was informed of a continued transmission epicentre on the border between those two countries.
- Vaccination teams defeat 'Ebola effect' in Guinea IRIN 29 Apr 2015 -- The odds were stacked against Guinea's vaccination teams. The initial side effects of the measles vaccine can easily be mistaken for the first symptoms of hemorraghic fever and a false rumour had spread blaming the distribution of deworming pills in late 2013 for bringing Ebola into the country.
- Mission Over: Progress Cargo Vessel Begins Spinning Out of Orbit Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- The Progress cargo vessel that failed to dock with the ISS has begun a gradual uncontrolled descent from its orbit, a source in the Russian space industry said Wednesday.
- Progress Cargo Vessel Docking With Space Station Canceled Sputnik 29 Apr 2015 -- The docking of the Progress cargo vessel with the International Space Station has been called off and the vessel may continue spinning in space until it drops into the Earth's atmosphere and burns up, a rocket space industry source told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
- A Sticky Situation For Poroshenko As Russians Seize Candy Assets RFE/RL 29 Apr 2015 -- The past year alone saw one of the confection industry's largest acquisitions, with the Swiss-based chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli spending upward of $1.4 billion to purchase U.S. candymaker Russell Stover. But nearly a year after it went on the market, there are no such sweet deals for Roshen, the confectionery owned by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
- Nazarbaev Starts Fifth Term After Landslide Win In Criticized Vote RFE/RL 29 Apr 2015 -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev was sworn in to his fifth term on April 29, just three days after his landslide victory in an election criticized by international observers.
- Nepal earthquake: UK aid response UK MOD 29 Apr 2015 -- Latest updates and summary of the UK's humanitarian repsonse to the Nepal earthquake.
- UN and partners launch $415 million appeal to aid quake-stricken Nepal UN News 29 Apr 2015 -- The United Nations today launched a $415 million emergency appeal to provide vital relief to people affected by the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the densely populated Kathmandu Valley in Nepal on Saturday, killing at least 5,000, injuring at least 10,000 more.
- Neighbors Respond With Silence to Burundi Protests VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- The East Africa region has responded with deafening silence to protests across Burundi against President Pierre Nkurunziza, which entered their fourth day Wednesday.
- Togo Opposition Rejects President's Win VOA 29 Apr 2015 -- In Togo, the opposition is challenging the provisional results from Saturday's presidential poll. Those results show President Faure Gnassingbe winning a third term.
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