21 December 2015 Military News
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Casualty Update 21 Dec 2015 [PDF]
- Obama: 'Significant Progress' Against Islamic State by End of Term VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- U.S. President Barack Obama expressed confidence those opposing the Islamic State group will 'prevail,' and said he thinks there will be 'significant progress' in that effort by the time he leaves office.
- Pentagon to take on Daesh digitally: Report Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- The US Defense Department is weighing more aggressive cyber attacks against the Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri group, aiming to disrupt the terror group's web-based activities, a new report says.
- Military Strikes Target ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq AFPS 21 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.
- Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Attack Against U.S. Service Members in Afghanistan DoD 21 Dec 2015
- Pentagon: Taliban Attack Kills 6 US Service Members in Afghanistan VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- The Pentagon confirms that six U.S. service members were killed by a suicide bomber Monday on an attack on a NATO patrol near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
- Taliban militants seize district in southern Afghanistan: Report Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- Members of the Taliban militant group have according to some reports taken control of a district in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.
- Despite progress, Afghanistan faces major economic, security and political challenges in 2016 - UN envoy UN News 21 Dec 2015 -- At the end of the first year of its transformation decade, the Afghan National Unity Government is struggling to project national unity, security has deteriorated as it grapples with intensified fighting with much less international support, and the economy remains a matter of concern, the top United Nations official in the country warned today.
- Taliban Denies Threatening Afghan Asylum Seekers VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- The past year has seen a surge in the number of Afghan's seeking asylum abroad, and now the Taliban is urging countrymen to remain at home and is denying the militants are sending "threat letters" anymore.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Luke F-35 team competes for first time in load crew competition AFNS 21 Dec 2015 -- A Luke Air Force Base F-35A Lightning II crew competed for the first time in a load crew competition Dec. 18, against legacy F-16 Fighting Falcon crews.
- Ghana, U.S. intelligence training reaps immediate dividends with drug bust USMC News 21 Dec 2015 -- U.S. service members recently completed the second module of Tactical Intelligence Support to Maritime Operations course for the Ghanaian Navy and Maritime Police Force, Dec. 7-18, at Ghana's Eastern Naval Command Headquarters here.
- Saudi Arabian Leaders Embark Harry S. Truman NNS 21 Dec 2015 -- Military leaders from Saudi Arabia embarked deployed aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Dec. 15, to build upon a strong partnership between the nations.
- First NATO AGS aircraft gets off the ground NATO 20 Dec 2015 -- The first of five NATO Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) conducted a successful first flight in California on Saturday (19 December). Taking off from Palmdale Airbase, NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) UAV aircraft successfully soared to 40,000 feet before landing at Edwards Air Force Base 2.5 hours later.
- NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance aircraft arrives at Edwards AFNS 21 Dec 2015 -- NATO's first Alliance Ground Surveillance aircraft arrived at Edwards Air Force Base Dec. 19 completing its first flight.
- Russia Reinforces Base in Armenia With Attack, Transport Helicopters Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- Six attack and transport helicopters were deployed to the Russian military base in Armenia.
- David's Sling Missile Defense Ready for 2016 Deployment to Israel Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- The US military completed the final milestone before authorizing delivery of an operational missile defense against large caliber rockets to Israel, the US Department of Defense announced in a news release on Monday.
- PLA Navy conducts exercise in S. China Sea People's Daily 21 Dec 2015 -- The People's Liberation Army Navy conducted a massive combat exercise on Wednesday in the South China Sea, mobilizing forces from each of its three fleets, the Navy said on Friday.
- Chinese Foreign Minister Demands US Stop Arms Supplies to Taiwan Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- The Chinese Foreign Minister informed the US Secretary of State that Beijing demands Washington to stop arms sales to Taiwan.
- India May Buy Over $7Bln's Worth of Arms From Russia During Modi's Visit Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- India could purchase more than $7 billion's worth of weapons from Russia, local media reported Monday.
- Turkish Defense Industry Successfully Conducts Armed Drone Test Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- The Turkish defense industry has successfully conducted a test of an armed tactical drone amid the country's plan to launch a serial production of unmanned aerial vehicles with firepower, US media reported on Friday.
- Australia - CH-47F - Aircraft DSCA 21 Dec 2015 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia for CH-47F aircraft, related equipment and support. The estimated cost is $180 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on December 18, 2015.
- Philippines pledges to build stronger army amid territorial tensions Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- The Philippines' President Benigno Aquino has pledged to build a stronger army to face maritime challenges amid growing territorial tensions in the region.
- Asian Militaries Embrace Submarines Amid South China Sea Competition VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- Asia's spending on military hardware is quickening at a time of increasing focus over maritime territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas, as well as growing concern over China's expanding military.
- First A-29 Afghan pilots graduate, ready for combat AFNS 21 Dec 2015 -- A new era for the Afghan air force began Dec. 18, when the 81st Fighter Squadron graduated the first class of A-29 Super Tucano combat-ready attack pilots at Moody Air Force Base.
- December 21, 2015 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 21 Dec 2015
- DoD News: Contracts for December 21, 2015
- Moscow to Discuss Creation of Helicopter After-Sales Service With Tehran Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- Moscow plans to discuss the creation and development of an after-sales service system in Iran for helicopters produced in Russia with Tehran, the press service of Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of the Russian state technology company Rostec, said Monday.
- Moscow to discuss setting up helicopter after-sales service with Tehran IRNA 21 Dec 2015 -- Moscow plans to discuss setting up and development of an after-sales service system in Iran for helicopters produced in Russia, the Russian Helicopters department, a subsidiary of the Russian state technology company Rostec, announced on Monday.
- 21 December 2015 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 21 Dec 2015
- US actions prompt islands militarization People's Daily 21 Dec 2015 -- The Pentagon said that an American B-52 bomber 'unintentionally' flew over the South China Sea within two nautical miles of an artificial island built by China. Chinese authorities described the move as 'provocation.'
- China calls on US to respect Beijing's 'core interests' Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- China has called on the United States to respect the East Asian country's principal "interests" and concerns, and refrain from what it terms as "shows of force" close to its islands in the South China Sea.
- Amid dire humanitarian situation, some 2.5 million now internally displaced in Yemen - UN UN News 21 Dec 2015 -- The situation in Yemen has substantially deteriorated since the conflict broke out in early 2015, with a nine per cent increase in the internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have reached 2.5 million, according to a recent United Nations-backed report on the issue.
- Seven Yemenis killed, 12 injured in Saudi airstrike Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- At least seven people have been killed and 12 others wounded in an airstrike carried out by Saudi Arabia in Yemen's western region despite a fragile truce.
- Syria: senior UN official paints grim picture as Government, allies reportedly attack hospitals UN News 21 Dec 2015 -- Hospitals, markets and bakeries have been hit, scores of civilians are killed and injured almost daily, and doctors themselves have become targets in escalating fighting and airstrikes in Syria, reportedly by the Government and its allies, a senior United Nations relief official reported today, voicing outrage.
- Syria forces record new gains against militants Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- Syrian military and allied volunteer fighters have made fresh gains against militants in the north and west of the country.
- Top Rights Watchdog Blasts Moscow, Damascus Over Syrian Cluster Bombs RFE/RL 21 Dec 2015 -- Human Rights Watch (HRW) has sounded the alarm over what it says is the 'extensive' use of cluster bombs in Syria since Russian and Syrian authorities launched their joint military offensive against rebel groups almost three months ago.
- UN Resolution Rescues Syria From Complete Collapse – Syrian Opposition Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- The UN Security Council resolution on the Syrian crisis settlement adopted on December 18 saved the country from an ultimate collapse, one of the leaders of Syria's opposition Popular Front for Change and Liberation said Monday.
- Syrian Army Starts Wiping Daesh Out of Strategic Town in Homs Province Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- Daesh militants have withdrawn from parts of the strategic Syrian town of Mheen in the central Homs province under attacks from government forces, media reported Monday, citing local sources.
- Kremlin Denies HRW Allegations Russia Using Cluster Bombs in Syria Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- Moscow denies allegations its Aerospace Forces have used cluster bombs in the fight against terrorism in Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.
- Syrian Army Scores Victories in 'Fierce Battles' Close to Turkish Border Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), assisted by the Russian Air Force and Hezbollah fighters, is reported to have freed almost all northern Latakia, taking more than ten strategic hilltops under control and killing dozens of terrorists over the weekend.
- Seymour Hersh: Pentagon Secretly Passed Intelligence to Assad Government Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- The Pentagon deliberately subverted American policy toward Syria, sabotaging US efforts to aid Syrian rebels and even sending US intelligence to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to journalist Seymour Hersh.
- Iraq Wants Turkish Troops Out Once and for All Sputnik 21 Dec 2015 -- Baghdad has welcomed Turkey's decision to start removing its troops from northern Iraq, but said it would press for a complete withdrawal of Turkish forces from its territory, Iranian media wrote on Sunday.
- Boko Haram Forces 1 Million Nigerian Children Out of School VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- More than a million children have had their education interrupted by the conflict in and around Nigeria, adding to the 11 million children already out of school in the region, the United Nations Children's Fund said Monday.
- UK bolster training in Nigeria to help combat Boko Haram UK MOD 21 Dec 2015 -- Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced a major uplift to UK support to the Nigerian armed forces to help combat Boko Haram.
- Lebanon: Ban condemns rocket fire towards Israel as 'serious ceasefire violation,' urges restraint UN News 21 Dec 2015 -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced great concern today over yesterday's firing of rockets from South Lebanon towards Israel, calling it "a serious violation" of the ceasefire, noted Israel's retaliatory mortar attack, and urged maximum restraint.
- 1000s Lebanese mourn Hezbollah commander death Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- Thousands of Lebanese mourn the death of Hezbollah commander Samir Qantar in Beirut on December 21, 2015.
- Burundi parliament discusses AU peacekeeping mission Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- Burundi's parliament has convened to discuss a proposed African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission already rejected by the government as an "invasion force."
- African Union Awaits Burundi's Formal Response on Troops VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- An African Union official says the continental body and the rest of the international community will not sit by and watch the escalation of violence and human rights violations and abuses continue in Burundi.
- Nigerian army bulldozes Shia religious center in Zaria Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- The Nigerian army has completely demolished a religious center belonging to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) following the recent massacre of Shia Muslims in the West African country.
- Larijani: Recent decision made by US parliament violates JCPOA IRNA 21 Dec 2015 -- Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said on Monday that the recent decision made by the US parliament on banning visa for those travelers visiting Iran will harm the nuclear deal signed between Iran and G5+1 and is against the content of the agreement.
- Araqchi: Kerry ensures US will honor context of nuclear deal IRNA 21 Dec 2015 -- Head of team in charge of JCPOA said US secretary of state John Kerry reaffirmed US commitment to context of JCPOA in his letter to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
- Iran ready for deal with US on heavy water ISNA 21 Dec 2015 -- Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said the country is ready for a deal with US on heavy water.
- Indonesian Police Arrest Nine Alleged Terrorists VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- Indonesian Anti-Terror Police have arrested nine alleged terrorists and foiled a plot to kill government officials, law enforcement officers and others, Indonesia's police chief said Monday.
- Pakistan uncovers Daesh fundraising network in Karachi Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- Law enforcement agencies in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi are hunting down a network of women acting as fundraisers for the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
- IS Deserters Flee Terror Group's Hypocrisy, Cruelty VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- Recent deserters have told researchers they fled the self-proclaimed Islamic State because of a mismatch between the words and deeds of the extremist group.
- EU extends anti-Russia sanctions over Ukraine Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- The European Union has agreed to prolong economic sanctions against Russia for another six months over its alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
- Putin Praises Kazakh Ties, As Astana Signs Landmark EU Pact RFE/RL 21 Dec 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed Moscow's links with Kazakhstan just hours before Astana signed a deal on closer ties with the European Union.
- Russia to introduce food embargo against Ukraine due to Kiev-EU trade deal Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow will introduce a food embargo against Ukraine due to Kiev's trade deal with the European Union (EU).
- Observer: Turkey's Interventionist Foreign Policy Counterproductive VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- As a staunch backer of Syrian rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, Turkey recently dispatched tanks and soldiers to Iraq without Baghdad's permission, ostensibly to protect Turkish forces training Iraqis fighting Islamic State militants.
- Podemos' Iglesias Celebrates Spanish Election Result teleSUR 21 Dec 2015 -- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative Popular Party (PP) lost its absolute majority in national elections Sunday.
- Azerbaijanis Reel As Currency Tanks RFE/RL 21 Dec 2015 -- A massive tumble in Azerbaijan's currency has shuttered shops and sent people scrambling to convert their manats into foreign currency or durable goods.
- Rwanda's Kagame Leaves Next Term Up in Air VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame thanked the nation Monday for voting to change term limits in the constitution, but did not hint on whether he plans to seek re-election.
- Briefing: Will a political dispute become a humanitarian disaster in Nepal? IRIN 21 Dec 2015 -- Eight months after a huge earthquake in Nepal killed almost 9,000 people and caused widespread devastation, an import-crippling border blockade provoked by a political dispute has sent prices skyrocketing and is stalling efforts to rebuild. If left unresolved, hundreds of thousands of quake survivors, many of them still living without proper shelter, could suffer shortages this winter.
- SpaceX Achieves Long Sought Historic Feat in Rocket Launch VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- Six months after one of its rockets exploded after launch, privately-owned SpaceX resumed operations Monday with a dramatic nighttime launch and a historic landing of its first-stage booster.
- Up to 19 Killed in Djibouti Violence VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- Opposition activists in Djibouti say as many as 19 people were killed Monday when security forces opened fire on a religious gathering in the capital.
- Haiti Postpones Presidential Runoff Election VOA 21 Dec 2015 -- Haiti's election council has postponed the presidential runoff election scheduled for this Sunday, amid accusations of irregularities by opposition candidates.
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