15 February 2016 Military News
- U.S., Coalition Continue Counter-ISIL Strikes in Syria, Iraq AFPS 15 Feb 2016 -- 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 against Daesh UK MOD 15 Feb 2016 -- While diplomatic efforts continue to implement a cease-fire in Syria and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid, RAF aircraft have maintained intensive operations against the Daesh terrorists in both Syria and Iraq.
- VOA EXCLUSIVE: Afghan Official Expects Peace Talks Soon VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- A close aide to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says he is "very positive" that direct peace talks with Taliban insurgents will take place before the end of this month with no conditions from either side. Efforts are under way to determine the venue for the much-anticipated meeting.
- Pentagon Denies US Drone Crash in Somalia VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- The Pentagon is rejecting al-Shabab's claim a U.S. drone crashed Monday in southwestern Somalia.
- US drone crashes in south Somalia, residents say Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- An unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the US military has crashed in southern Somalia near the country's border with Kenya, residents say.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Obama Seeks to Pave Long-term Path for US Rebalance Toward Asia Pacific VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- U.S. President Barack Obama is set to welcome the leaders of all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to a historic summit in California on Monday, where he will seek to put his U.S. strategic rebalance with the Asia Pacific on a path that would reach decades into the future.
- Form secret caves to Norwegian rails: Marines move equipment across Norway for Cold Response USMC News 15 Feb 2016 -- Royal Thai, Republic of Korea and U.S. Marines helocasted from an MV-22B Osprey Feb. 10, 2016 for the first time in a joint environment during exercise Cobra Gold 16 in Thailand.
- Montenegro begins Accession Talks with NATO NATO 15 Feb 2016 -- Montenegro marked an important step on its road towards NATO membership on Monday (15 February 2016), beginning two days of Accession Talks in Brussels. The talks cover the details of membership including political, military and legal questions, and provide an opportunity for both sides to clarify outstanding issues.
- North Atlantic Council and NATO Parliamentary Assembly discuss NATO Summit in Warsaw NATO 15 Feb 2016 -- The North Atlantic Council met members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Monday (15 February) and discussed priorities for this year's NATO Summit in Warsaw as well as how the Alliance is adapting to the new security challenges.
- Russian Airborne Troops Test New Air Defense Control System Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- The Barnaul-T automated air defense control system was used for the first time during drills involving airborne troops units, which started on Monday in Russia's Pskov region, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
- Russia's East Military District to Receive First Su-34 Jets in 2016 Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- District spokesman Alexander Gordeev said Monday Russia's Eastern Military District will receive its first batch of Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers this year.
- Russia to Hold Observation Flight Over Italy Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center chief Sergei Ryzhkov said that Russian experts will hold an observation flight over Italy under the Treaty on Open Skies this week.
- Turkey, Saudi Arabia begin joint military drills Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Turkey and Saudi Arabia have begun joint air exercises, claiming it is within the framework of cooperation and military training between the two countries.
- China to set up Antarctic aviation team in 2016: top oceanic administration People's Daily 15 Feb 2016 -- China will form an Antarctic aviation team in 2016 to further explore the Antarctic area, according to China's top oceanic administration.
- Possible US THAAD deployment in ROK confuses and angers Chinese people People's Daily 15 Feb 2016 -- The U.S. has requested China's cooperation in resolving the the DPRK nuclear issue, at the same time, it planned to deploy the THAAD system with its allies, which confuses and angers the Chinese people, said Fu Ying, chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of China's National People's Congress Saturday.
- US anti-missile system threatens China's interests: Beijing Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- China says the possible US deployment of an anti-missile system to the Korean Peninsula is a threat to China's strategic interests, and Beijing will not allow its "national security interests to be damaged."
- IRGC to conduct missile drills soon: Senior commander Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- A senior Iranian military commander says the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is preparing to conduct a missile maneuver in the near future.
- Iran Considers Importing Russian T-90 Tank Production Technology Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Iran plans to import Russian technology to produce an analogue of the Russian T-90 tank, according to the Lieutenant of the Iranian Ground Forces.
- Russia to Deliver S-300 Air Defense Systems to Iran Soon Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Russia will soon send S-300 air defense systems to Iran while the countries have not held any negotiations on the possibility of delivering S-400 systems.
- Moscow to deliver S-300 missile system to Iran in 'nearest time' Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Russia will deliver the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems to Iran in "the nearest time" as part of a long-running contract between Tehran and Moscow, the country's Foreign Ministry says.
- India Considers US Lockheed Martin Offer to Manufacture F-16 Fighter Jets Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- India is considering an offer from the US defense corporation Lockheed Martin to organize manufacturing of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft in the country, local media reported Monday, citing high-ranking sources.
- Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz The White House 15 Feb 2016
- US admiral warns China against flying warplanes over S. China Sea Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- A senior US naval commander has warned that China's plan to fly fighter jets from its new man-made islands in the South China Sea will be destabilizing and would not deter US operations in the disputed waters.
- UN agency delivers added food supplies to besieged area inside Yemen's Taiz city UN News 15 Feb 2016 -- For the second time this year, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has managed to deliver food inside an area undergoing heavy fighting in the central Yemeni city of Taiz, where residents are in desperate need of external food assistance.
- UN warns of famine in besieged Yemeni city Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- The United Nations has warned of famine in the Yemeni city of Ta'izz as Saudi airstrikes with banned weapons continue against the impoverished country on an almost daily basis.
- UN: Nearly 50 Dead in Strikes on Syrian Medical Facilities, Schools VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- The United Nations says nearly 50 civilians, including children, were killed Monday in missile attacks on medical facilities and schools in northern Syria.
- Turkish Politicians Warn of Intervention in Syria VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- The Turkish military confirmed Monday its forces shelled Syrian Kurdish positions of the PYG for a third consecutive day.
- Syria: for first time in months, UN agency delivers aid to residents of Yarmouk camp UN News 15 Feb 2016 -- The United Nations relief agency charged with the well-being of Palestinian refugees across the Middle East has been able to deliver urgently needed humanitarian supplies to the civilian residents of the besieged refugee camp of Yarmouk, on the outskirts Damascus, for the first time in nine months.
- Medvedev: US-led coalition's ground operation in Syria will result in long war IRNA 15 Feb 2016 -- No one is interested in a new war and a ground operation in to Syria will result in a full-fledged, long war, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in reference to the US-led coalition's threat to start ground operation in the war-torn Syria.
- Russian source: Strategic city seized back from terrorists in Aleppo IRNA 15 Feb 2016 -- The Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya reported that the strategic city of Tal Rifat has been won back by Syria's popular and Kurdish forces.
- Turkey, Saudi pursuing Syria invasion for 2 years: Assad Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Turkey and Saudi Arabia, widely considered as the major sponsors of Takfiri terrorist groups operating in the crisis-hit country, have been trying for two years to enter Syria militarily.
- US condemns airstrikes on Syrian hospitals Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- The United States has condemned Monday's air strikes that hit two civilian hospitals in northern Syria, killing at least 22 people.
- US calls on Russia, Turkey to avoid 'escalation' over Syria Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- The United States has called on Turkey and Russia to avoid any further escalation over the Syrian crisis after the two countries traded accusations.
- Security restored to three villages in Syria's Aleppo Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Syrian armed forces and allied volunteer fighters have recaptured three villages north of the country as the battle continues to purge militants from areas across the province of Aleppo.
- Turkey continues shelling Kurdish regions in Syria: Group Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Despite international outcries, Turkey has shelled Kurdish regions in northern Syria for the third day, saying it will not allow Kurds to take control of the Syrian border town of A'zaz.
- Turkey helping new militants penetrate Syria: Russia Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Russia says Turkey helps fresh militants illegally enter Syria and join the ranks of the battle-drained terrorist groups already fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad there.
- Turkey will continue targeting Kurdish forces in Syria: PM Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Turkey says it will continue targeting forces of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria despite rising international pressure to halt the shelling.
- Obama Urges Russia To Stop Bombing 'Moderate' Rebels In Syria RFE/RL 15 Feb 2016 -- U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Russia to stop bombing "moderate" rebels in Syria during a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Local Ceasefires, Fight Against Terrorists Key to Syrian Reconciliation Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday that local ceasefire agreements, as well as joint fight against terrorists in the war-torn country are the solution to the Syrian crisis.
- Foreign Ministry: Ankara Condemns US Appeal to Stop Shelling Kurds in Syria Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Turkey strongly condemned US call to stop Ankara's shelling the Kurdish militia in Syria, as the latter are seen as terrorist by Ankara, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said on Monday.
- Syrian Kurds: Turkish Army 'Can't Stop Our Fight Against Terrorists' Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Tarık Ebuzeyt, commander of the Democratic Forces of Syria in the town of Azaz, spoke to Sputnik in an exclusive interview, where he talked about the recent attack by Turkish armed forces.
- Some 300 Militants, Trucks With Arms Move to Syria's Tel Rifaat From Turkey Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Some 300 militants and trucks with ammo rushed from Turkey to the Syrian city of Tel Rifaat in Aleppo but their attempt was disrupted by airstrikes, a source said. Kurdish forces have been storming the city, besieged by terrorists.
- Syrian Kurds Storming Terrorist Stronghold on Border With Turkey Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Fighters from the Kurdish Self-Defense Forces have begun storming the city of Tel Rifaat besieged by terrorists and located approximately 12 miles from the border with Turkey in Syria's Aleppo province, a source from the self-defense forces said Monday.
- Turkish Army Shells Kurds in Syria Near Border for Third Day in a Row Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- The Turkish Armed Forces have again shelled the positions of the Kurdish forces of self-Defense in northern Syria, Turkish Foreign Ministry press secretary Tanju Bilgic said Monday.
- A Royal Pecking Order? Qatar Ready to Invade Syria if Saudis Ask Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Qatar is ready to join the anti-Daesh ground operation in Syria if asked to do so by Saudi Arabia, the London-based Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat wrote, citing Khalid Al Attiyah, the country's Minister of State for Defense.
- Syrian Army Pushes Towards Key Airbase in Daesh Stronghold Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- The Syrian army and popular forces took back one more strategic hill from Daesh terrorists following hours of fierce firefights northeast of Hama province as part of their ongoing advance towards Tabaqa airbase in Raqqa province, Iran's Fars news agency reported, citing a military source on Sunday.
- Syrian Army Victories Make Riyadh, Ankara Desperate Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Out of desperation, Turkey and Saudi Arabia may take thoughtless actions in the Syrian conflict which will make an already perplexing state of affairs even more complicated.
- Daesh used mustard gas against Iraq's Kurdish fighters: Source Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Test results show that the Daesh Takfiri group used mustard gas against Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq last year, says a source from the global chemical weapons watchdog.
- Turkey 'shocked' by US stance on 'terrorist' Kurds Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Ankara is "shocked" by the United States stance on Syrian Kurdish troops that have been battling Takfiri terrorists of Daesh.
- UN envoy for Libya welcomes 'major breakthrough' on formation of unity government UN News 15 Feb 2016 -- Welcoming the announcement by the Libyan Presidency Council on the formation of the Government of National Accord, the United Nations envoy there called today on the House of Representatives "to do what is right for Libya and its people" and endorse the nomination of the national unity government.
- Proposed Libyan Unity Government Faces Harsh Scrutiny by Parliament VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- The ball is now in the court of Libya's internationally recognized parliament in Tobruk to approve or vote down a newly named 18-member government.
- No question of Tsai toeing Ma's line in cross-strait policy: DPP CNA 15 Feb 2016 -- President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will not follow incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) line on China as a scholar has suggested, the Democratic Progressive Party said on Monday.
- Kremlin-Backed Prosecutor In Crimea Seeks Closure Of Tatar Mejlis RFE/RL 15 Feb 2016 -- The prosecutor in Russian-occupied Crimea has filed a request with that territory's Supreme Court to ban the Crimean Tatars' self-governing body, the Mejlis.
- India imposes curfew in strike-hit Kashmir Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- Authorities have imposed a curfew in Indian-administered Kashmir amid growing tensions over the recent killing of two civilians during a protest in the disputed Himalayan region.
- UN Expert: Kim Jong Un Could Be Held Accountable for Crimes Against Humanity VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- A United Nations expert on human rights in North Korea is warning the country's supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, could be held accountable for alleged crimes against humanity.
- South Korea is Done Dancing With Nuclear North VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye will defend her hardline response to North Korea's recent nuclear test and rocket launch in an address to the National Assembly in Seoul Tuesday.
- Petro Poroshenko Bloc Faction Backs Ukraine Cabinet Dismissal - Lawmaker Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- The Petro Poroshenko Bloc's faction in the Ukrainian parliament considers the work of the Ukrainian cabinet in the past year as 'unsatisfactory' and will support the vote to dissolve the government, a Ukrainian lawmaker said Monday.
- Ukraine Faces Crucial Test as Resignations Dent Anti-corruption Drive VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- Ukraine's political crisis deepened Monday with the resignation of the deputy prosecutor general, who accused his superior of 'running a dead institution with no independence.'
- EU Warns Burundi of More Sanctions VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- European Union foreign ministers say they are prepared to increase economic sanctions on Burundi which has been in a political crisis since July when President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term.
- Opposition Leader: Burundi Deflecting True Causes of Crisis VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- The exiled leader of the opposition Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) said the allegation that Rwanda is involved in destabilizing Burundi is a pretext to turn the political crisis in Burundi into a Hutu versus Tutsi problem.
- EU says ready to impose sanctions on Burundi over 'human rights violation' Press TV 15 Feb 2016 -- The European Union (EU) has expressed readiness to impose a new round of sanctions on violence-ridden Burundi if the African country "fails to remedy its human rights record."
- Ugandan Police Detain, Then Release Opposition Leader Besigye VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- Ugandan police detained opposition candidate Kizza Besigye in the capital Kampala Monday as he campaigned for the country's presidential election this week.
- EU Lifts Most Sanctions On Belarus RFE/RL 15 Feb 2016 -- EU foreign ministers have voted to abandon a handful of sanctions against Belarus over its rights and democracy record and adopted an EU Council text praising mutual cooperation, furthering a thaw that critics fear will let the authoritarian regime in Minsk off the hook too quickly.
- Minsk Welcomes EU Decision to Partially Lift Sanctions From Belarus Sputnik 15 Feb 2016 -- Minsk welcomes the decision by the European Union to cancel a vast portion of anti-Belarus sanctions, and is ready to continue bilateral dialogue, a ministry's spokesman said in a statement Monday.
- Pakistan Anticipates Putin Visit to Seal Pipeline Deal VOA 15 Feb 2016 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Pakistan in the coming months to inaugurate a gas pipeline project in which Russia will investing billions of dollars.
- Haiti: UN welcomes election of provisional President UN News 15 Feb 2016 -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as the UN and its partners in Haiti, have welcomed the 14 February election by the Haitian National Assembly of a Jocelerme Privert as the island nation's interim President, one week after the departure of former President Michel Martelly.
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