20 December 2015 Military News
- Charles de Gaulle conducts first Arabian Gulf missions against ISIL as CTF 50 NNS 20 Dec 2015 -- The French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) conducted its first missions against ISIL from the Arabian Gulf as the flagship for Commander Task Force (CTF) 50 on Dec. 20.
- Taliban close to seizing Helmand Province in Afghanistan Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- A senior Afghan official has warned that the militant-riddled southern province of Helmand is on the brink of falling to the Taliban militant group.
- Afghan Officials Concerned Over 'Rapid Taliban Advance' In Helmand RFE/RL 20 Dec 2015 -- Afghan officials have expressed concerned over what they described as 'the rapid advance of the Taliban' in Helmand Province and warned several areas in the southern province may fall to the militant group.
- Afghan Taliban Overrun Key District in Helmand Province VOA 20 Dec 2015 -- Afghanistan's Taliban have overrun a key district in a bid to seize control of the entire southern province of Helmand, Afghan and insurgent sources confirmed late Sunday.
Defense Policy / Programs
- US: B-52 bombers did not intend to fly over China island Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- The Pentagon has said its B-52 bombers might have strayed off course when they flew over a Chinese man-made island, after Beijing accused Washington of committing "a serious military provocation" in the South China Sea.
- Putin: Russia Will Improve Nuclear Weapons as Deterrence, Security Factor Sputnik 20 Dec 2015 -- Russia considers the improvement of its nuclear weapons as a deterrence and security factor, President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary aired Sunday.
- Combat Ready: Latest Chinese Drills Point to Navy's Growing Strength Sputnik 20 Dec 2015 -- The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducted a massive combat exercise to increase networking capabilities among its air-, land- and sea-based forces from China's three fleets at a time when improved coordination is largely seen as the game-changing feature of any future military conflict.
- Iran, Oman to perform naval drills IRNA 20 Dec 2015 -- Naval rescue drills between Iran and Oman are to be held in the east of Strait of Hormuz during the current week, said Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari on Sunday.
- Cease-fire Violations Scuttle Yemen Peace Talks VOA 20 Dec 2015 -- U.N. sponsored peace talks on Yemen have wrapped up after six days because of frequent violations of a cease-fire agreement by the warring parties. Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition and fighting by Houthi rebels have continued throughout the negotiations, reportedly killing more than 75 people over the past three days.
- No Major Breakthroughs in Yemen Peace Talks VOA 20 Dec 2015 -- United Nations-brokered peace talks on Yemen ended Sunday with a broad agreement that the war has to end, but no major breakthroughs.
- Yemen: UN envoy adjourns peace talks till January pending enforcement of a proper ceasefire UN News 20 Dec 2015 -- In the face of numerous violations of the cessation of hostilities in Yemen, the Special United Nations Envoy today decided to adjourn peace talks in Switzerland for a month to allow for bi-lateral in-country and regional consultations to achieve a ceasefire.
- Parties to Yemeni Conflict Agree to Release Prisoners After Ceasefire Sputnik 20 Dec 2015 -- Participants of the intra-Yemeni direct talks agreed on Sunday on the mechanism for the release of prisoners, lifting of a blockade and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as well as establishing a committee to de-escalate the conflict with the UN support, the UN special envoy for Yemen said.
- UN Yemen Ceasefire Deal Falls Apart Before Peace Talks - Houthi Member Sputnik 20 Dec 2015 -- The United Nations has failed to stop the conflict in Yemen for the peace talks' period as the truce fell apart before it started, a member of the political bureau of the Shiite Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah, told Sputnik.
- UN envoy 'optimistic' about Yemen truce despite violations Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- The UN envoy for Yemen says he is still "optimistic" that a fully-respected ceasefire will come into force in Yemen, despite several violations of a seven-day truce already in effect in the war-torn country.
- Yemen forces kill dozens of Riyadh's mercenaries Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- The Yemeni army, backed by Houthi Ansarullah fighters, has carried out retaliatory attacks against Saudi bases, killing dozens of Riyadh's mercenaries.
- Syria army regains control of more strategic areas in Aleppo Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- The Syrian army units, backed by Hezbollah resistance fighters, have managed to liberate more strategic areas from the foreign-backed militants in the northern province of Aleppo.
- Assad must go before peace comes to Syria, says Kerry Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- US Secretary of State John Kerry claims Washington is not pursuing regime change in Syria but President Bashar al-Assad must step down before any peace can be achieved in the war-torn country.
- Putin: Russia To Use 'More Military Means' In Syria If Necessary RFE/RL 20 Dec 2015 -- President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia's armed forces have not utilized their full capability in Syria and would use "more military means" there if necessary.
- Syrian Army Takes Full Control of Several Areas South of Aleppo Sputnik 20 Dec 2015 -- The Syrian Army took full control over the village of Karasy and a neighboring storage area. Militants of the al-Nusra Front terrorist group sustained heavy losses in the area.
- Surprised and Confused' Daesh Fighters Flee Palmyra Area Sputnik 20 Dec 2015 -- The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Russian force and Hezbollah fighters have mounted a major offensive to liberate Palmyra, forcing 'surprised and confused' Daesh militants to flee their fortifications and outposts close to the iconic ancient city, the Fars news agency reported.
- Suspected Russian Airstrikes Kill at Least 36 in Syria VOA 20 Dec 2015 -- Suspected Russian airstrikes killed at least 36 people Sunday in the rebel-held city of Idlib in northwest Syria, rescue workers and a monitoring group in the country reported.
- Hezbollah: Israeli Airstrike Killed Militant in Syria VOA 20 Dec 2015 -- The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said one of its top operatives, who had spent three decades in prison for murder in Israel, was killed in an Israeli airstrike Sunday near Syria's capital.
- Iraq asks civilians to leave Ramadi ahead of major anti-Daesh offensive Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- The Iraqi army has asked people to leave the strategic city of Ramadi within 72 hours, as pro-government forces close in on the militants in the capital of the western province of Anbar.
- Iraqi Army Wins Back 60 Percent of Ramadi City Sputnik 20 Dec 2015 -- Iraqi army and allied militia forces have recaptured most of the western city of Ramadi from Daesh terrorists, Iranian media wrote on Sunday.
- Turkey Continues Crackdown on PKK in Southeastern Regions VOA 19 Dec 2015 -- A reported 10,000 Turkish troops and police are carrying out operations in Cizre and Silopi, two largely Kurdish areas in southeastern Turkey's Sirnak province. While the government says the campaign is targeting members of the outlawed PKK Kurdish militant group and its supporters, civilians in the regions, both under curfew, say they are suffering and living in fear.
- Israel military fires artillery into Lebanon Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- The Israeli regime's military forces have fired artillery into Lebanon, one day after killing a veteran fighter of the Hebzollah resistance movement in Syria.
- Lebanon: UN reports rocket fire from south towards Israel and Israeli mortar retaliation UN News 20 Dec 2015 -- Three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel today, and Israel retaliated with some eight rounds of 120mm mortar, but no casualties have so far been reported from either side, according to United Nations peacekeepers.
- Syria Defines Israeli Airstrike on Damascus Suburb as 'Terrorist Act' Sputnik 20 Dec 2015 -- A senior Hezbollah official and about ten other people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a Damascus suburb on Saturday evening, Syrian and Lebanese media reported.
- Moscow not to abandon Russians in Ukraine: Putin Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says his government will take appropriate action to protect Russian nationals in east Ukraine to nationalists there.
- Putin Says Russia Will Not 'Abandon' Russians In Southeast Ukraine RFE/RL 20 Dec 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will not abandon Russians living in southeast Ukraine to what he described as Ukrainian 'nationalists.'
- Nigeria Shia leader to face prosecution: Nigerian official Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- Nigerian authorities say Shia leader Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, who has been arrested and whose family and supporters have faced a bloody crackdown, will face prosecution.
- Burundi rejects 5,000-strong African peacekeeping force Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- Burundi has rejected the African Union (AU)'s plans to dispatch a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force to the African country in a bid to curb growing violence there.
- Spain Election Ends 2-Party Rule; Conservatives Lose Majority teleSUR 20 Dec 2015 -- The results will make it difficult for the ruling Popular Party to form a center-right, majority coalition government.
- Iran to export 9 tons of enriched uranium to Russia in coming days ISNA 20 Dec 2015 -- Iran plans to export 9 tons of enriched uranium to Russia in coming days, said Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi.
- Iran to ship 9 tonnes of enriched uranium to Russia: Official Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the Islamic Republic will export about nine tonnes of its enriched uranium stockpile to Russia in the coming days.
- US warns citizens against terror threat in Tunisia Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- The US embassy in Tunisia has warned American citizens in the north African country against a major terrorist attack.
- Inconvenient Truth: Leaked Report Proves Daesh Smuggling Oil to Turkey Sputnik 20 Dec 2015 -- A report compiled by an independent Norwegian oil and gas consulting firm verified earlier claims that Daesh, also known as ISIL/ISIS, smuggles most of its oil to Turkey, where it is then sold on the black market at reduced prices.
- Most of oil smuggled by Daesh goes to Turkey: Report Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- A new report has revealed that most of the oil smuggled by Daesh Takfiri terrorist group from the areas under its control goes to Turkey, where it is sold off at low prices.
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