17 December 2015 Military News
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Casualty Update 17 Dec 2015 [PDF]
- Military Strikes Target ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq AFPS 17 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.
- Carter, Iraqi Leaders Discuss Ways to Increase Pressure on ISIL AFPS 17 Dec 2015 -- Defense Secretary Ash Carter yesterday discussed with Iraqi leaders ways to increase pressure on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to accelerate coalition progress against the terror group.
- Inherent Resolve Commander Describes 'Significant' Progress in ISIL Fight AFPS 17 Dec 2015 -- Coalition and Iraqi forces are making important progress against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Iraq and in Syria, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said yesterday in Baghdad.
- 'We Will Win' ISIL Fight, Carter Tells Troops in Baghdad AFPS 17 Dec 2015 -- Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in Baghdad yesterday he is confident the coalition will prevail over the the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
- Media Availability by Col. Prill in Erbil, Iraq DoD 17 Dec 2015-- Presenter: Colonel Bernd Prill, commander, Kurdistan Training Coordination Center
- Media Availability by Brig. Gen. Mark Odom in Erbil, Iraq DoD 17 Dec 2015-- Presenter: Brigadier General Mark Odom, Deputy Commanding General for Operations, 82nd Airborne Division
- Media Availability With Secretary Carter in Erbil, Iraq DoD 17 Dec 2015 -- Presenter: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
- IS Launches FM Radio Channel in Eastern Afghanistan VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- The Islamic State group has launched an FM radio channel in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Future USS Rafael Peralta Achieves Aegis System Light Off NNS 17 Dec 2015 -- The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) achieved 'light off' of its Aegis Combat System at the Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard, Dec. 17.
- Boxer Amphibious Ready Group Completes CERTEX NNS 17 Dec 2015 -- The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) successfully completed a two-week Certification Exercise (CERTEX), Dec. 16, off the coast of southern California.
- Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Omaha DoD 17 Dec 2015 -- The Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, USS Omaha (LCS 12), during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony Saturday, Dec. 19 in Mobile, Alabama.
- NATO to Deploy Air Support to Turkey in a 'Face-Saving' Exercise Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- NATO is set to deploy air defense support to member-state Turkey in an effort to prevent a repetition of the shooting down of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 fighter aircraft in November, creating diplomatic tension between Ankara and Moscow.
- Serbian MP Reassures Russia That Belgrade Against Joining NATO Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- Serbia is not going to join NATO and most Serbs are stalwartly opposed to their country entering the alliance, according to Aleksandra Djurovic, head of the Serbian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee.
- Russia May Maintain Temporary Military Base in Syria - Putin Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged the possibility of establishing a temporary base for the Russian Armed Forces in Syria.
- Iran Rejects UN Restrictions On Its Missile Tests RFE/RL 17 Dec 2015 -- Iran will not accept any limitations on its missile program, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said on December 16 after United Nations experts concluded Tehran had violated UN missile sanctions by testing an Emad rocket.
- Iran Deal Limits Tehran's Ability to Put Nuclear Payload on Missiles Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- US Department of State Lead Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation Stephen Mull said that the Iranian missiles may continue to fly, but Washington made it a lot harder to put a nuclear payload on those missiles.
- US Lawmakers: Iran Missile Tests Undermine Nuclear Pact VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- U.S. lawmakers said Thursday that Iran's continued missile tests had cast doubt on the viability of an international nuclear accord with Tehran and required a stronger American response.
- Taiwan-U.S. military cooperation now 'best in history': president CNA 17 Dec 2015 -- President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said Thursday that the current level of military cooperation between Taiwan and the United States is the 'best in history.'
- Taiwan takes delivery of 3 U.S. Black Hawk rescue helicopters CNA 17 Dec 2015 -- Three Black Hawk helicopters from the United States were delivered to Taiwan on Thursday and will be put into service next March as rescue aircraft, according to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).
- Defense analysts: newest arms sales reflect U.S. trust in Taiwan CNA 17 Dec 2015 -- Taiwanese defense analysts said Thursday that the new package of U.S. arms sales reflect that the U.S. administration trusts Taiwan, because the highly sensitive Stinger shoulder-fired missiles, once under strict export restrictions, were included.
- U.S. lawmakers respond warmly to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan CNA 17 Dec 2015 -- Key U.S. lawmakers and business leaders expressed pleasure about the Obama administration's announcement Wednesday of a US$1.83 billion arms sales package to Taiwan, the first offered by the U.S. to the country in four years, but called for a more regular process for such transactions.
- Arms sales show support for Taiwan's self-defense: U.S. officials CNA 17 Dec 2015 -- The US$1.83 billion arms sales package for Taiwan announced Wednesday is in line with the Taiwan Relations Act and U.S. support for Taiwan's ability to maintain sufficient self-defense capability, U.S. officials said.
- Taiwan welcomes latest U.S. arms sales package CNA 17 Dec 2015 -- Taiwan has welcomed the latest arms sales package announced by the United States, with both the Presidential Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) saying that it highlights the fact that U.S.-Taiwan relations have never been better.
- Arms sales to Taiwan irrelevant to politics, elections: Tsai CNA 17 Dec 2015 -- Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party and the party's presidential candidate, said Thursday that the United States has said repeatedly that arms sales to Taiwan are based on the country's defensive needs and are not related to politics or elections.
- Jubilation in Taipei as US Announces Taiwan Arms Sale VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- The United States announced Wednesday its intent to make a landmark sale of advanced weapons to Taiwan. The Department of State's notification to Congress of its plans met with jubilation in Taipei, which relies mostly on U.S. support for defense against its much larger rival China. But Beijing expressed outrage at the proposal.
- China Threatens Sanctions Over US Arms Sale to Taiwan VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- The Obama administration's Wednesday announcement that it plans to sell $1.83 billion in arms to Taiwan has drawn official protest from China, which is threatening arms manufacturers with sanctions.
- U.S. announces new arms sale to Taiwan CNA 17 Dec 2015 -- The administration of the United States on late Wednesday (Taipei time) notified Congress of a proposal to sell Taiwan two warships and other weapons worth US$1.831 billion.
- Indian Authorities to Approve Purchase of 5 Russian S-400 Systems Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- The Indian Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) is set to approve on Thursday procurement of five Russian S-400 air defense systems during a meeting under the chairmanship of Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, the Indian media reported.
- Turkey Has Plans to Station 1000s of Troops at New Military Base in Qatar Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- As Turkey faces international backlash over provocative actions, Ankara plans to expand its military footprint abroad.
- Daily Press Briefing by the Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 12/17/15 The White House 17 Dec 2015
- December 17, 2015 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 17 Dec 2015
- 17 December 2015 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 17 Dec 2015
- UN's rapid response humanitarian fund marks 10th anniversary with plans to upgrade UN News 17 Dec 2015 -- The United Nations rapid response funding mechanism for saving tens of thousands of lives in both sudden disasters and long-festering crises marked its 10th anniversary today with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon laying out plans to strengthen it in the face of mounting challenges.
- Ban vows to act quickly after report finds UN failed to respond 'meaningfully' to Central African Republic abuse allegations UN News 17 Dec 2015 -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today pledged to urgently review the recommendations made by an independent panel that found that the United Nations did not act with the "speed, care or sensitivity required," when it uncovered information about crimes committed against children by soldiers – not under UN command – sent to the Central African Republic (CAR) to protect civilians.
- Panel: UN's Response to Peacekeeper Abuses in CAR 'Seriously Flawed' VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- An independent review panel has found that the way the United Nations handled allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic was "seriously flawed" and a "gross institutional failure."
- Chinese Media Warns Australia About Surveillance Flights Over S. China Sea Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- An editorial in the Global Times, a Chinese state-owned newspaper, appears to warn Australia that its planes could be shot down if they continue surveillance flights over the disputed South China Sea.
- Yemen: parties at UN-facilitated talks agree on delivery of humanitarian aid in Taiz UN News 17 Dec 2015 -- On the third day of the United Nations-sponsored negotiations on ending the crisis in Yemen, the participants, meeting in Switzerland, have reached an agreement which allows for a full and immediate resumption of humanitarian assistance to the central city of Taiz.
- Russian forces operations to continue as long as Syria needs help IRNA 17 Dec 2015 -- Russian Aerospace Forces' operations will continue in Syria as long as Syrian army will need our help, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists during a press-conference in Moscow.
- Russian Air Forces Operations to Continue as Long as Syria Needs Help Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- The Russian Aerospace Forces' operation will continue in Syria as long, as Syrian army will need our help, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists during the press-conference.
- Putin on Assad: We Won't Let Other Countries Impose Their Will Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- Vladimir Putin said that Russia's stance on Syria has not changed: Russia will not let any state impose their will.
- Putin on S-400 Deployment in Syria: Let Turkish Aviation Fly Now Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- Turkey will not be able to violate the Syria airspace after Russia had deployed S-400 defense system in Hmeymim airabse, Russian president Vladimir Putin told journalists during the press-conference in Moscow.
- World Powers Move for More Talks on Proposed Syrian Political Transition VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- World powers are gathering in New York on Friday for the third round of talks on a proposed Syrian political transition, weeks before a plan to launch U.N.-mediated talks between the Syrian government and opposition.
- Syrian Rebels Deny Receiving Russian Military Aid VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- Syria's top Western-backed opposition group has denied receiving aid from Moscow, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country was supporting the group in joint operations with Syrian troops against Islamic State.
- Carter: Kurdish Peshmerga Forces Vital to Speed ISIL's Defeat AFPS 17 Dec 2015 -- The Kurdish peshmerga forces define the indigenous fighters needed to accelerate defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq and Syria, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters in Irbil, Iraq, today.
- Turkey Says Attack Justifies Sending Troops into Iraq VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- Turkey is claiming vindication for sending troops and tanks into Iraq, following an attack on a Turkish base training Iraqis who are fighting Islamic State. The attack came days after intense pressure from Baghdad forced Ankara to pull out some reinforcements it sent to the camp following threats from IS militants.
- IS Attack Kills Iraqi Troops, Wounds Turkish Trainers RFE/RL 17 Dec 2015 -- Islamic State (IS) militants attacked a training camp in northern Iraq for fighters battling the extremist group, killing at least two Iraqi Sunni fighters and wounding four Turkish trainers, officials said December 16.
- Daesh Attack on Turkish Base in Iraq 'Proves' Necessity of Turkish Troops Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- Turkish military presence is needed in Iraq for 'security reasons', especially following a recent Islamic State (IS, or Daesh in Arabic) jihadist group's attack on a Turkish training camp located in the country, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday.
- Iraqi Army Captures Strategic Areas of Anbar Province Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- The Iraqi Army and allied armed forces have captured strategic positions from the terrorist group in Anbar Province, in preparation for an assault against terrorist positions in the city of Ramadi.
- Welcoming the Signing of the Libyan Political Agreement US Dept. of State 17 Dec 2015
- UN welcomes 'historic' signing of Libyan Political Agreement UN News 17 Dec 2015 -- Representatives from a broad range of Libyan society today signed a United Nations-brokered agreement on forming a national unity government, a move welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his top envoy for the country as among the "essential building blocks towards a peaceful, secure and prosperous Libya," but also as "the beginning of a difficult journey" along that path.
- UN envoy welcomes 'historic' signing of Libyan Political Agreement UN News 17 Dec 2015 -- Representatives from a broad range of Libyan society today signed a United Nations-brokered agreement on forming a national unity government, a move welcomed by the top UN official in the country as among the "essential building blocks towards a peaceful, secure and prosperous Libya," but also as "the beginning of a difficult journey" along that path.
- Libyan Leaders Sign National Unity Deal VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- Libyan leaders from the country's two rival parliaments signed a national unity agreement in the Moroccan resort town of Skhirat, after a number of final obstacles were worked out. A new prime minister was also named.
- Fuelled by corruption, South Sudan war enters third year IRIN 17 Dec 2015 -- South Sudan is an oil-rich country with fertile soil and a wealth of untapped mineral riches. Pilfering money is easy for those who are so inclined, and the attraction of diverting revenues for personal benefit is a key reason why the young country has been mired in a deadly, destructive two-year conflict.
- How Boko Haram is killing off farms IRIN 17 Dec 2015 -- Bulama Buba Kadai once owned 20 farms and more than 100 head of cattle near Gwoza in northeastern Nigeria. A year ago, when Boko Haram attacked his village, Kadai's land and all but two cows were destroyed. He also lost his two sons – the sole heirs of any property he may one day leave behind. "I think most of us are going back to our graves," Kadai told IRIN.
- Vladimir Putin's annual news conference President of Russia 17 Dec 2015 -- The President's news conference was broadcast live by Rossiya-1, Rossiya-24 and Channel One, as well as Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii radio stations.
- Putin Slams Turkey, Voices Support for US Syria Plan VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- President Vladimir Putin said there was little hope for improving relations with Turkey after it shot down a Russian bomber jet in November along its border with Syria.
- Putin Tries To Reassure Russians Amid Economic Concerns, Ridicules Turkey RFE/RL 17 Dec 2015 -- President Vladimir Putin used his annual press conference to try to reassure Russians as slumping oil prices threaten the government's efforts to pull the economy out of recession.
- Trump For President, Blatter For The Nobel Prize? Putin's Most Striking Remarks At News Conference RFE/RL 17 Dec 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual news conference on December 17, fielding questions for over three hours in one of the annual set-piece events he uses to send signals about domestic and foreign policy - and to make a splash with comments that raise eyebrows. These are some of his more striking remarks:
- Ukraine 'Ready To Pay Price' For EU Deal, Putin Suspends Trade Zone RFE/RL 17 Dec 2015 -- Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says his country is 'ready to pay the price' for a trade deal with the European Union after Moscow moved to restrict its own trade ties with Kyiv over the EU-Ukraine pact that is due to take effect on January 1.
- 'Robust, decisive' action needed now to avert civil war in Burundi, UN rights chief warns UN News 17 Dec 2015 -- The top United Nations human rights official today urged the international community to take "robust, decisive" action instead of "fiddling around the edges" to avert a civil war in Burundi that could have serious ethnic overtones and alarming regional consequences.
- Rwandans to Vote on Changing Presidential Term Limits VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- Rwandans will vote in a national referendum Friday that could allow President Paul Kagame to remain in power for another 18 years. Observers predict a strong turnout and a vote in favor of the proposed constitutional changes.
- Security Council moves to cut off all funding sources for ISIL and other terrorist groups UN News 17 Dec 2015 -- At its first ever meeting at Finance Ministers' level, the United Nations Security Council today stepped up its efforts to cut off all sources of funding for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIL) and other terrorist groups, including ransom payments, no matter by whom.
- Islamic State Seeks Recruits in China VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- The Islamic State terror group is recruiting Chinese Muslims to enlist in its extremist cause and join IS fighters 'on the battlefield.'
- UN Adopts Resolution to Cut Off IS Funds VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- The United Nations Security Council took aim at the self-proclaimed Islamic State's war chest Thursday, unanimously adopting a resolution to strengthen and expand measures to cut off funds to the terror group.
- Daesh Finances Pay for More War, Rather Than 'State' Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- While Daesh has buffed up its propaganda image of a 'state,' its financial flows indicate that most of the group's funding goes to pay for its war efforts.
- In special meeting, UN weighs measures to prevent terrorists from exploiting the Internet, social media UN News 17 Dec 2015 -- Stressing the need for States to work with the private sector to devise ways to prevent terrorists from exploiting the Internet while respecting human rights, the top United Nations political official today said curtailing the influence of terrorists and violent extremist groups must not come at the expense of curbing legitimate political discourse on the Internet or social media.
- Statement by the President after Briefing at the National Counterterrorism Center The White House 17 Dec 2015
- Obama: Counterterrorism Experts Stand Vigilant Watch AFPS 17 Dec 2015 -- Americans cannot give in to fear from terrorism, President Barack Obama said today in a televised address from the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Virginia.
- Briefing on the Current K-1 Visa Screening Process and Review US Dept. of State 17 Dec 2015
- K-1 Visa Process and State-DHS Review US Dept. of State 17 Dec 2015
- Obama Reassures Americans About Security Threat at Home VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- U.S. President Barack Obama says intelligence and counterterrorism officials currently have "no specific and credible information" about a possible attack on the homeland.
- Iran, P5+1 to Discuss Arak Dismantling of Reactor Monday Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- Iran and the P5+1 group of international negotiators on Tehran's nuclear program will meet on Monday to discuss the dismantling of 'the heart' of Arak Power Plant, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said on Thursday.
- Iran's Reformists, Hardliners Maneuver Ahead of Elections VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- Iran's political elite remains split over the country's future, and analysts predict the divisions are likely to get more abrasive as reformers and conservatives maneuver before February parliamentary elections.
- North Korea's Biggest Political Prison Camp Gets Bigger VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- The prison population at North Korea's biggest political prison camp seems to have increased, according to two organizations that released a joint report this week.
- Chinese Embassy: reports on mass arrest of Chinese citizens in DPRK are erroneous People's Daily 17 Dec 2015 -- A news website, Daily NK, reported that the authorities of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) arrested more than 100 Chinese citizens on espionage charges in recent days. This piece of news was picked up by the Kookmin Ilbo newspaper, MBN and other Korean media outlets on Dec. 15, 2015.
- US, Cuba Reach Deal on Restoring Commercial Flights VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- U.S. and Cuban officials reached agreement Thursday on restoring regular commercial flights between the former Cold War foes after more than 50 years, a milestone on the one-year anniversary of a diplomatic thaw between the two countries.
- U.S.-Cuba Relations One Year Later US Dept. of State 17 Dec 2015
- China Battles to Bring Fugitives Back VOA 17 Dec 2015 -- One of China's top anti-corruption officials says fugitives who have fled overseas are using stolen money and lawyers to protect themselves. He also denies that those who are returned are being tortured, a key concern of rights groups and governments that are asked to turn the suspects over to Chinese authorities.
- Espionage Reported at Guatemala's Civil Intelligence Agency Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- Guatemalan authorities are investigating allegations of espionage at the General Directorate of Civil Intelligence (DIGICI), the country's Interior Minister Eunice Mendizabal announced.
- China launches satellite to shed light on invisible dark matter People's Daily 17 Dec 2015 -- China on Thursday sent into space the country's first space telescope in a fresh search for smoking-gun signals of dark matter, invisible material that scientists say makes up most of the universe's mass.
- Russia, China Sign Range of Space Industry Agreements Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- Russia's space agency Roscosmos signed a cooperation agreement on Thursday with China National Space Administration.
- Putin Hopes Vostochny Comsodrome Completed According to Schedule Sputnik 17 Dec 2015 -- Russian President hopes that the completion and the first launch from the Vostochny space center would be carried out according to the schedule.
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