15 December 2015 Military News
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Casualty Update 15 Dec 2015 [PDF]
- Background Briefing on Interagency Efforts to Target ISIL's Energy Assets DoD 15 Dec 2015 -- Presenter: Senior U.S. Official
- Carter Calls for More Global Cooperation to Defeat ISIL AFPS 15 Dec 2015 -- More nations must "get in the game militarily" to hasten destruction of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters on Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, today.
- Progress Made in Degrading ISIL Oil Revenues, Official Says AFPS 15 Dec 2015 -- The coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has made significant progress in degrading the terrorists' ability to profit from their oil activities, a senior U.S. official said today.
- Carter: US Seeking More Coalition Help Against Islamic State VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said President Barack Obama has reiterated to the military the need to accelerate the campaign against Islamic State, and that the United States is seeking more from coalition partners helping to fight the militants in Iraq and Syria.
- Coalition Strikes Hit ISIL in Syria, Iraq AFPS 15 Dec 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.
- Update: air strikes in Iraq and Syria UK MOD 15 Dec 2015 -- British forces have continued to conduct air operations in the fight against Daesh
- Saudi Arabia Announces 34-Nation Islamic Alliance Against Terrorism VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday what it called a new Islamic military alliance made up of 34 countries to fight terrorism.
- Saudi Arabia announces formation of anti-terror coalition Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- Saudi Arabia has announced the formation of an anti-terror military coalition compromised of 34 Islamic nations.
- Saudi Arabia Announces 34-State Military Coalition To Fight Terrorism RFE/RL 15 Dec 2015 -- Saudi Arabia on December 15 announced the formation of a 34-member Islamic military alliance to combat terrorism.
- Islamic Anti-Terrorism Coalition Expects More Countries to Join Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- According to Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, the Islamic anti-terror coalition is expecting an increase in the number of member states.
- Afghanistan: despite intensification of violence, UN official reports progress in overall relief assistance UN News 15 Dec 2015 -- Amid increased levels of violence in Afghanistan that has now spread across a large part of the country, the United Nations Deputy Special Representative there, reported today overall progress in the ability to provide relief aid to those in need, as all parties to the conflict have shown an increase respect for humanitarian laws.
- DOD Releases Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan DoD 15 Dec 2015 -- Today DoD provided Congress with a report on "Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan" in accordance with Section 1225 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law 113-291). This report addresses developments from June 1- Nov. 30.
- Pakistan's Waziristan Offensive Seen as Building Trust with Kabul VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Ahead of a new round of Afghan peace talks, Pakistan is reporting progress in pacifying the Taliban strongholds that have been at the center of long-running tensions with Kabul.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Carter Visits Troops, Coalition Partners in Middle East AFPS 15 Dec 2015 -- Defense Secretary Ash Carter is in the Middle East this week to visit troops far from home during the holiday season and to speak with coalition partners about upping the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
- Remarks by Secretary Carter at Town Hall in Incirlik Air Base, Turkey DoD 15 Dec 201 5-- Presenter: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
- Media Availability With Secretary Carter in Incirlik, Turkey DoD 15 Dec 2015 -- Presenter: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
- Change of scenery: US Marines deploy tanks to Romania for multinational exercise USMC News 15 Dec 2015 -- The Bulgaria-based Combined Arms Company moved armor assets across borders for the first time to participate in a multinational live-fire exercise at Smardan Training Area, Romania, Dec. 7-12, 2015.
- 'Rhinos' support Steel Knight 2016 USMC News 15 Dec 2015 -- The F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter personifies great strides in modern air dominance capability. Among its characteristics of radar-evading stealth, supersonic speeds, fighter agility and advanced logistical support comes the capability to perform vertical take-off and landings.
- BOXER UNREP Success Proves ARG Capability NNS 15 Dec 2015 -- Amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) transferred fuel to dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) during an underway replenishment, Dec. 10. This event was unique in that Boxer is the only ship in the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the capability to provide fuel as well as receive it.
- Dunford: US war plans outdated, new Pentagon staff needed Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- America's top military officer has underscored the need for reorganizing US combat commands in the Pacific and the Middle East, because the existing war plans are outdated.
- US Navy commander warns of arms race in South China Sea Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- A top US military commander says an arms race might happen in the disputed South China Sea amid Washington's siding with China's rivals in the disagreement.
- Ukraine to Participate in Major NATO Drills in Poland - Poroshenko Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- The Ukrainian military will take part in the NATO exercises in Poland.
- Deployment of Russian Military Bases in Venezuela is Not Under Discussion Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- The deployment of Russian military bases in Venezuela is not under discussion because the country's constitution does not stipulate it.
- Chinese Navy Unveils Highly Advanced Missile Destroyer Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- The Type 052D world-class guided missile destroyer, the Hefei, has joined the fleet of the Chinese Navy to boost its combat capability.
- China urges U.S. to stop arms sale to Taiwan People's Daily 15 Dec 2015 -- China on Tuesday urged the United States to stop arms sale to Taiwan and do something more conducive for China-U.S. relations.
- U.S. Presses For UN Enforcement Action Over Iran Missile Test RFE/RL 15 Dec 2015 -- The United States is pressing for enforcement action against Iran after a United Nations report on December 15 found Tehran violated UN sanctions against testing nuclear-capable missiles.
- Russia to finalize S-300 delivery to Iran in 2016: Official Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- Russia has reaffirmed its determination to honor all its obligations with regard to the timely delivery of S-300 air defense systems to Iran.
- December 15, 2015 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 15 Dec 2015
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 12/15/2015 The White House 15 Dec 2015
- 15 December 2015 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 Dec 2015
- Plight of Children in Armed Conflict Worsening VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- A senior U.N. official warns that increasingly children are being killed, maimed, and recruited as soldiers and suicide bombers in armed conflict.
- Australia Military Patrolling Over Disputed Islands in South China Sea Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- Australia's Defense Ministry on Tuesday confirmed to UK broadcaster BBC that its warplane was conducting what it described as a routine patrol mission over disputed islands claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea.
- China's Sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands Brooks No Denial People's Daily 15 Dec 2015 -- Op-ed II on the Philippines' South China Sea Arbitration Farce
- China warns against provoking confrontation in the South China Sea People's Daily 15 Dec 2015 -- Relevant countries should not provoke confrontation and create tension in the South China Sea, said a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commenting on Japan's participation in India-U.S. joint military exercises.
- President dismisses claims that Taiwan's Taiping Island is only reef CNA 15 Dec 2015 -- President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has dismissed allegations that Taiping Island - the largest of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea and controlled by Taiwan - is not an island, but a reef.
- Yemen: UN-sponsored peace talks kick off as ceasefire goes into effect UN News 15 Dec 2015 -- After months of relentless violence in Yemen, consultations facilitated by the United Nations began today in Switzerland aimed at finding a durable settlement to the crisis, including establishing a permanent ceasefire, securing improvements to the humanitarian situation and a returning to a peaceful and orderly political transition.
- Saudi-led forces say Yemen truce in effect Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- The Saudi-led forces waging war in Yemen say a ceasefire announced earlier has now taken effect as scheduled.
- Fixing Yemen's aid problem IRIN 15 Dec 2015 -- The last time the warring parties in Yemen had a go at a ceasefire, it lasted no more than a few hours. This, combined with the ongoing challenges they face in getting assistance to the 21.2 million people who need it, means aid agencies measured their response to the week-long ceasefire that began on Tuesday morning with care.
- WHO: Urgent support needed in Yemen for 15 million people IRNA 15 Dec 2015 -- The World Health Organization and health partners are appealing for US$ 31 million to ensure the continuity of health services for nearly 15 million people in Yemen affected by the ongoing conflict.
- New Saudi airstrikes kill 15 Yemeni civilians, injure 20 Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- At least 15 civilians have lost their lives in the latest Saudi aerial assaults in Yemen's southwestern province of Hajjah.
- Syrian army reactivates major airbase after breakthrough against Daesh Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- The Syrian army has restarted military activity at a major airbase that had been under the control of the Takfiri Daesh terrorists for over a year.
- Moscow, Washington Agree on Syria Peace Talks in New York on Friday Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has confirmed that Syria talks will resume in New York City on Friday, adding that he and US Secretary of State John Kerry are finding common ground.
- Syrian Airbase in Aleppo Resumes Operations After Three Years of Siege Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- According to a local source, following a years three-year blockade the airbase in the Syrian Aleppo province resumed its operations.
- Paris on the Offensive: France Starts Bombing Daesh With Cruise Missiles Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- France dramatically increased its airstrikes against the extremist group in Syria after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, with French President Francois Hollande declaring the terrorist attack an 'act of war.'
- Russian Jets Destroy Over 1,200 Fuel Trucks Carrying Daesh Oil in Syria Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- Since September 30, the Russian aviation group in Syria has destroyed 1,200 fuel trucks carrying illegal oil, the Russian General Staff said Tuesday.
- Russian Warplanes Conduct Over 4,200 Sorties in Syria Starting September 30 Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- Russian combat aircraft have carried out more than 4,200 missions against terrorist targets since the start of the air operation in Syria on September 30, the Russian General Staff said Tuesday.
- Syrian Army Foils Attacks in Hama, Kills Over 100 Terrorists Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- The Syrian Army repelled a string of attacks on their fighting positions by militants from the Jaish al-Fatah terrorist group in the northern part of Hama province, the Army reported. Over 100 terrorists were killed.
- Iraq PM demands 'complete withdrawal' of Turkish forces Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called for an immediate and 'complete withdrawal' of all Turkish forces from northern Iraq.
- Peace Elusive as S. Sudan Marks 2 Years of Civil War VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Tuesday marks two years since the start of the civil war in South Sudan. A peace deal was signed in August but implementation has been slow and complicated by continued disagreements.
- South Sudan: more UN peacekeepers to be sent in to protect civilians amid ceasefire violations UN News 15 Dec 2015 -- The Security Council today increased the United Nations peacekeeping force level in strife-torn South Sudan by over 1,000 to a ceiling of 15,000 troops and police, and extended its mandate for another six months, citing protection of civilians "by all necessary means" as its top priority.
- Security Council renews UN peacekeeping force in Abyei for another five months UN News 15 Dec 2015 -- The United Nations Security Council today extended for another five months its interim peacekeeping force in Abyei, a resource-rich area contested by Sudan and South Sudan, calling on both sides to swiftly resume regular meetings to resolve the oil-rich territory's final status.
- ICC Prosecutor calls on Security Council to help bring high-profile indictees to justice for Darfur war crimes UN News 15 Dec 2015 -- The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) today chided the United Nations Security Council for its "empty promises" to bring Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to trial for atrocities in Darfur, even as his victims cry out for justice amid indiscriminate killings and mass rape.
- Colombian govt., FARC rebels reach agreement on reparations Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- The Colombian government and the rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have reached an agreement on reparations and justice for the victims of the decades-long conflict in the South American country.
- Cameroon Calls for More Vigilantes Against Boko Haram VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Cameroonian authorities are urging more northerners to join self-defense groups to fight Boko Haram. The call comes after several recent successes scored by the self-defense groups working in collaboration with the military, including reports that vigilantes intercepted and killed two young female suicide bombers in a border town this week.
- AEOI chief: All nuclear dossier against Iran fabricated IRNA 15 Dec 2015 -- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi underlined that all nuclear dossier lodged against Iran was fabricated and they intended to put Iran under pressure on any pretext.
- Adoption of the IAEA Board of Governors Resolution on Iran's Nuclear Program US Dept. of State 15 Dec 2015
- Board of governors' resolution paving way for JCPOA completion IRNA 15 Dec 2015 -- Iranian ambassador to the UN nuclear watchdog said here on Tuesday IAEA's board of governors' today resolution to close possible military dimensions (PMD) file will accelerate the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- IAEA resolution opens new chapter in Iran-IAEA ties: Zarif Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the closure of the case of the past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program will open a new chapter in ties between Iran and the UN nuclear agency.
- IAEA passes P5+1 draft resolution, closes Iran 'PMD' case Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- The governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency has overwhelmingly voted in favor of a draft resolution which brings an end to a 12-year investigation into the past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program.
- No credible sign of diversion in Iran nuclear material: IAEA Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) once again reaffirms the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program, saying the body has no "credible indications" of a diversion of nuclear material toward non-civilian purposes.
- UN ends probe into Iran's past nuclear activities, moving international accord closer to implementation UN News 15 Dec 2015 -- The United Nations nuclear watchdog today closed the book on the possible military aspects of Iran's nuclear programme, finding that they were limited to feasibility and scientific studies and did not proceed beyond 2009, bringing an international nuclear accord with Iran a step closer to implementation.
- IAEA Closes Iranian Nuclear Weapons Probe VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- The U.N. nuclear agency has officially closed its more than decade-old investigation into allegations Iran once worked to develop nuclear weapons.
- Iran, China to sign deal on redesigning Arak Reactor ISNA 15 Dec 2015 -- An Iranian deputy foreign minister said Iran and China plan to sign an agreement to modernize Arak Reactor.
- 3 Suspects Linked to Paris Terrorist Attacks Arrested VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- French police arrested a 29-year-old man Tuesday in the Paris region as raids continue across France in pursuit of suspects in last month's attacks claimed by Islamic State, French media reported.
- European Union warns US over visa waiver changes Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- The European Union has warned Washington about tightening visa-free travel to the United States.
- European Commission Proposes Establishment of EU Border Guard Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans said that the European Commission proposes to establish a European Border and Coast Guard to enhance EU external borders control and prevent migrants from outside the bloc to reach its frontiers.
- Iran Condemns Nigerian Army Attacks on Shi'ites VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Iranian officials have condemned the Nigerian army's crackdown on a Shi'ite religious sect that reportedly left hundreds dead in the country's north.
- Nigeria police kill three more Shia Muslims Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- Nigerian police have killed three more Shia Muslims as clashes erupt over the detention of a respected Shia cleric and deadly raids by the army on members of the community.
- Iran calls for probe into Nigeria Shia killings Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has called for the establishment of a fact-finding committee in Nigeria to investigate the recent military crackdown on Shia Muslim community in the African country.
- Nigerian army confirms detention of Sheikh Zakzaky Press TV 15 Dec 2015 -- The Nigerian army has confirmed the arrest of the country's Shia leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky in the wake of a deadly attack on Shia Muslims in the northern city of Zaria.
- Background Briefing on the Progress Made Toward the Normalization of U.S.-Cuba Relations US Dept. of State 15 Dec 2015
- UN: Poverty, Conflict Drive Opium Production in Myanmar-Laos VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime's latest opium survey for Myanmar and Laos, released Tuesday, said poverty and conflict are the driving forces behind poppy cultivation, the second largest behind that of Afghanistan.
- Thailand Opium Eradication Effort Still a Model for Other Nations VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- As a child, Sopon Ayi sometimes went hungry when his father squandered the family's money to feed his opium addiction. Sopon, now 29, is convinced he wouldn't have gone to school, his father would still be miserable, and their village would be unsafe if they hadn't given up the drug.
- Background Briefing Previewing Secretary Kerry's Trip to Moscow US Dept. of State 15 Dec 2015
- Remarks With Russian President Vladimir Putin US Dept. of State 15 Dec 2015
- Remarks With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Before Their Meeting US Dept. of State 15 Dec 2015
- Press Availability With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov US Dept. of State 15 Dec 2015
- In Moscow, Kerry Calls For 'Common Ground' On Syria, Ukraine RFE/RL 15 Dec 2015 -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the 'seriousness' of Russia's commitment to resolving conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, as the U.S. diplomat opened intensive talks in Moscow.
- US-Russia Talks Focus on Syria, IS, Ukraine VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Saying the first two rounds of talks on a political transition in Syria are a "strong beginning," Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States and Russia have the ability to make a "significant difference" in Syria's crisis.
- New Study Links Putin's 'Gunslinger's Gait' To KGB Training RFE/RL 15 Dec 2015 -- A team of European neurologists says in a new study that Russian President Vladimir Putin walks with a peculiar 'gunslinger's gait' - a reduced swing in his right arm - possibly related to weapons training he received in the Soviet KGB.
- As body count mounts, Burundi talks ever more urgent IRIN 15 Dec 2015 -- Once again, photos of bodies, some of them bound, on the streets of Burundi's capital have travelled the world. All the more shocking because this country, thanks to its troop contributions to various UN military missions, is regarded as an exporter of peace.
- Burundi: UN human rights chief urges immediate action to stop 'senseless' violence UN News 15 Dec 2015 -- Amid the "deadly escalation" of violence in Burundi, the United Nations rights chief today sounded alarm at the unfolding crisis in the country and urged all actors in the current crisis to take every step possible to stop the growing violence and engage in a meaningful and inclusive dialogue.
- UN Rights Chief Appeals for Calm in Burundi VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- The U.N. high commissioner for human rights is urging the Burundi government and opponents to step back from the brink before the current crisis breaks out into a full-fledged civil war.
- Officials: Rwanda Refugees Recruited to Fight Burundi VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Officials in Burundi say refugees in neighboring Rwanda are being recruited to fight against the Burundian government -- and they accuse Rwanda of aiding the rebels. The allegation heightens regional tensions as political violence in Burundi escalates.
- Burundi Pledges to Protect Citizens and Foreign Nationals VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Burundi's government said any country that wishes to evacuate its nationals from Burundi has the sovereign right to do so. But Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe said the Burundian government will continue to fulfill its responsibility to protect not only its citizens but all foreigners.
- UN Urges China to Stop Repatriation of North Korean Defectors VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- The United Nations Committee Against Torture is urging China to stop the forcible repatriation of North Korean defectors who have illegally crossed the border.
- Moscow Court Jails Ukrainian On Espionage Charges RFE/RL 15 Dec 2015 -- The Moscow City Court has sentenced Ukrainian Valentyn Vyhovskiy to 11 years in prison for espionage.
- New Crew Arrives at International Space Station Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft carrying three Expedition 46 members docked on Tuesday with the ISS.
- Former Vietnamese Officials Urge Government to Move Away from China's Orbit VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Dozens of former high-ranking Vietnamese officials and prominent intellectuals continue to push for policy changes toward neighboring China as Hanoi makes final preparations for an upcoming party congress where personnel for the country's top jobs will be selected.
- EU Opens First Stages Of Serbian Membership Negotiations RFE/RL 15 Dec 2015 -- Serbia and Brussels on December 14 began talks in earnest on possible EU membership for Belgrade, opening the country's first two accession stages in negotiations for it to join the bloc.
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