18 February 2016 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 18 Feb 2016 [PDF]
- Department of Defense Press Briefing by Lt. Gen. Brown via teleconference from Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar DoD 18 Feb 2016 -- Presenter: Lieutenant General Charles Q. Brown Jr., commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command; Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook
- General: Airpower key to ISIL fight; strikes to continue AFNS 18 Feb 2016 -- The head of Operation Inherent Resolve's air campaign said Feb. 18 the "most precise air campaign in history" has severely hurt terrorist plans across Iraq and Syria, with more airstrikes to come.
- Air Power Vital to Counter-ISIL Success, Commander Says AFPS 18 Feb 2016 -- As the U.S.-led coalition's air campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq and Syria brings its capabilities to the fight, joint interoperability continues to degrade the terrorist organization, the commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command said today.
- Military Strikes Target ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq AFPS 18 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.
- Canada to Deploy Helicopters to Iraq, Syria for Troops Transportation Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- Canada will deploy small helicopter detachment to provide reliable transportation for troops, equipment and material in Iraq and Syria, according to Canada's Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
- 3 killed in raid on health clinic: Aid group Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- A Swedish aid group says Afghan forces have killed two patients and a caretaker during an attack on one of its clinic in the central part of the war-torn country.
- Afghan Defense Ministry Built Five Years Late, $100Mln Over Budget Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said that the cost of the construction of the Afghan Ministry of Defense building in Kabul that was riginally $48.7 million, rose to $154.7 million, or more than three times the original estimated cost.
- Taliban militants gun down 9 security forces in NW Pakistan Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Taliban militants have shot dead at least nine Pakistani security forces personnel in two separate attacks across a volatile tribal region near the Afghan border, officials say.
Defense Policy / Programs
- USS Higgins Returns from Deployment NNS 18 Feb 2016 -- The guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) returned home Feb. 11 from a 225-day independent deployment to the Arabian Gulf, Western Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
- VFA-113, NAS Lemoore Say Goodbye to the F/A-18C Hornet NNS 18 Feb 2016 -- The 'Stingers' of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 conducted the last flight of a fleet F/A-18C Hornet based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore Feb. 17.
- CTF 55 Conducts Iraqi Bilateral Exercise in the Arabian Gulf NNS 18 Feb 2016 -- U.S. maritime forces aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) and the Island-class Coast Guard cutter USCGC Monomoy partnered with an Iraqi navy Swift Boat (P-310) to complete a monthly bilateral exercise in the Arabian Gulf, Feb. 14-15.
- Ghana, U.S. Conclude Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Operations NNS 18 Feb 2016 -- Ghanaian and U.S. maritime forces completed Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) operations, Feb. 16, 2016.
- New building dedication closes out Cobra Gold civic action USMC News 18 Feb 2016 -- As people settle into their seats, the dedication ceremony for a one-room multi-purpose educational building began Feb. 16 at Ban Phromnimit, Sakaeo, Thailand. The ceremony brought a close to the work and effort of the Thai, U.S. and Indonesian military engineering teams during Exercise Cobra Gold 16.
- USS Shiloh Holds Fast Cruise to Prepare to Go Back to Sea NNS 18 Feb 2016 -- Sailors assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) participated in a 'fast cruise' exercise Feb. 12, held at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), Yokosuka.
- US quadruples number of troops for joint South Korea drill: South Korean min. Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- The number of the US forces that will participate in an annual joint military exercise with South Korea this year will be four times as many as the figure last year, amid a recent uptick in tensions with North Korea over its recent nuclear and long-range rocket tests.
- Upcoming US-South Korean Military Exercise to be Largest Ever VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- South Korean defense officials say the upcoming annual military drill with the United States will be the largest ever, a sign of growing tensions with North Korea over its recent tests of nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs.
- NATO's Expansion Toward Russia, Belarus 'Aggressive' Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- Sergei Naryshkin, the speaker of the lower house of Russian parliament said that NATO and the European Union's policies towards Russia are not constructive as they undermine the principles of international law, global and regional security and mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
- NATO Deputy Secretary General stresses value of Mediterranean Dialogue in visit to Morocco NATO 18 Feb 2016 -- NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow praised Morocco's long-standing contribution to political dialogue and practical cooperation with NATO, during the first day of his first official visit to Rabat on 18 February 2016.
- Russian Missile Corvette Zeleny Dol Arrives at Syrian Port of Tartus Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- The missile corvette Zeleny Dol from Russia's Black Sea Fleet has arrived at Syria's second largest port, the fleet commander said Thursday.
- PLA's fighter jets go up for sale People's Daily 18 Feb 2016 -- China appears to have given the green light for its domestically-developed J-10 fighter jet to be exported as the country looks to attract buyers at an overseas air show.
- China military able to detect U.S. F-22 stealth fighter jets, military expert says People's Daily 18 Feb 2016 -- The Chinese military is able to detect U.S. F-22 stealth fighter jets, according to a Chinese military expert in an interview for a CCTV program.
- India Tests Nuclear-Capable Missile, US Looks the Other Way Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- In a major sign of the country's growing military prowess, India has launched a surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. The test highlights Washington's hypocrisy when it comes to nuclear development.
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Support Services DSCA 18 Feb 2016 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for support services. The estimated cost is $200 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on February 17, 2016.
- S Korean Prime Minister Rules Out Nukes Amid Calls for Nuclear Capability Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn ruled out on Thursday building or deploying nuclear weapons to the country amid a heated debate in the parliament, local media said.
- RAF Confirms Intercepted Russian Jets Did Not Enter UK Airspace Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- The British Royal Air Force (RAF) confirmed that two Russian jets that were intercepted by UK Typhoon aircraft, on Wednesday, did not enter UK airspace.
- February 18, 2016 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 18 Feb 2016
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, 2/18/2016 The White House 18 Feb 2016
- 18 February 2016 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 18 Feb 2016
- Military factors injected by US provocation in the South China Sea Global Times 18 Feb 2016 -- "Facing more frequent provocations from the US military, China should strengthen self-defense in the islands in the South China Sea. The deployment of defense systems is not in the domain of militarization, as militarization of islands often means they are built into a fortress to become an outpost of military contests."
- China Defends Paracel Islands Air Defense Claims VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- China's apparent decision to deploy Russian-made surface-to-air missiles in the Paracel Islands has increased regional tensions in the disputed South China Sea, coveted for its potential oil and gas resources.
- Beijing Says Military Installations in S China Sea Not Militarization Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- Beijing has been installing military infrastructure in the South China Sea for several decades, but this process has no connection with the militarization of the region, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday.
- Washington's destabilizing role in South China Sea People's Daily 18 Feb 2016 -- After failing to get its way at the first U.S.-ASEAN summit in California, Washington appears ready to grasp at anything that could be used against China.
- Defense facilities on disputed island nothing new: China Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Beijing has reaffirmed its sovereignty over a disputed island in the South China Sea, saying the deployment of military facilities there is part of the "national defense strategy" and "nothing new."
- Ex-president's Diaoyutai remarks contradict his own actions: official CNA 18 Feb 2016 -- The latest claim by former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) that the Diaoyutai Islands do not belong to Taiwan contradicts the actions he took over the islands when he was in office, a Presidential Office spokesman said Thursday.
- Security Council calls on all parties to Yemen conflict to take urgent steps towards resuming ceasefire UN News 18 Feb 2016 -- Seriously concerned at the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the dire humanitarian conflict it has produced, the United Nations Security Council today urged all parties to the conflict in Yemen to take urgent steps towards resuming a ceasefire.
- Syria: humanitarian air drops 'very concrete proposal,' says UN envoy UN News 18 Feb 2016 -- As United Nations inter-agency convoys completed the delivery of humanitarian aid to more than 80,000 Syrians in five besieged towns, the UN Special Envoy for Syria today said the idea of air drops to locations that have yet to be reached "has become a very concrete proposal."
- Pentagon Asks Russia to Avoid Parts of Syria to Protect US Forces VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- The Pentagon has asked Russia to stay away from parts of northern Syria to protect U.S. Special Operations Forces there, according to military officials.
- US, Russia Launch Effort for Long-Term Syria Cease-fire VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- The U.S. and Russia will launch an effort Friday that could bring long-term stability to efforts to get humanitarian aid to besieged areas of Syria.
- Syrian army forces liberate village in Aleppo Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Syrian army forces have liberated a village in the northwestern Aleppo Province as they continue their fight against Takfiri militants operating in the country.
- UN plans first food airdrops in Daesh-held Syrian city: Official Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- A United Nations official says the world body is expected to carry out its first airdrops of food aid in an eastern Syrian city besieged by the Takfiri Daesh terrorists soon.
- No evidence of Russia attacks on Syria hospitals: Moscow Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Russia has dismissed accusations of bombing hospitals in Syria, including one supported by the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
- Turkish forces escort 2,000 militants to Syria: Monitor Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Turkish forces have escorted at least 2,000 militants back to Syria over the last week in a covert operation to reverse the loss of terrorist groups, sources say.
- US-led airstrikes kill 15 civilians, including kids, in Syria Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Airstrikes carried out by a US-led coalition purporting to fight Daesh have killed at least 15 civilians, including three children, in northeastern Syria, a monitoring group says.
- Humanitarian aid convoys reach four besieged Syrian towns Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- At least 100 trucks carrying humanitarian aid for the besieged areas of Syria have entered four of the five militant-held areas after setting off from Damascus under a UN-sponsored deal.
- Turkey signals escalating Syria attack Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accuses the Syrian government of being directly responsible for a bombing in Ankara, saying Turkey will continue to shell Kurdish positions inside the Arab country.
- Only 10% of Christians Left in Syria's Aleppo City Amid Civil War Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- Mother Agnes Mariam Salib, a mother superior at the Monastery and Convent of Saint James the Mutilated, said that she praised the Russian counterterrorism efforts and called for Western states, including the United States, to overcome the double standards in their approach to defeating terrorism.
- MSF Records Over 7,000 Causalities, 150,000 Wounded in Syria in 2015 Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- The Medecins Sans Frontieres aid agency calculated over 7,000 causalities and over 150,000 wounded in war torn Syria in 2015, a new report from the agency revealed.
- Shell Shocked: Militants Retreat From Strategic Towns in Aleppo Province Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- Syrian Ground and Air Forces have reportedly obliterated Daesh strongholds to the east of the city of Aleppo; scores of militants were killed and wounded.
- Fears Mount for Fate of Syrian NGO Workers, Political Activists VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- There is growing concern about the fate of thousands of Syrians working inside the war-shattered country for Western non-profits or on development and governance projects funded by U.S. agencies and European governments.
- Daesh used chemical arms against Kurds in Iraq: Sources Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Takfiri Daesh terrorists recently fired mortar shells believed to have been filled with a chemical substance at Kurdish forces near the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, leaving 30 of them injured, officials say.
- Turkish jets target PKK positions in northern Iraq Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Turkish bombers have carried out airstrikes in northern Iraq following a deadly car bomb explosion in Turkey's capital, Ankara.
- Iraqi forces make new gains against Daesh in Anbar Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Iraqi government forces have made fresh gains against Daesh terrorists in the country's embattled western province of Anbar as operations continue against the extremist Takfiri group.
- Joint Statement on Libya US Dept. of State 18 Feb 2016 -- "The governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States welcome the Libyan Presidency Council's February 14 announcement of a Government of National Accord Cabinet."
- What a difference 5 years makes IRIN 18 Feb 2016 -- On the fifth anniversary of Libya's uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, there isn't much to celebrate for the residents of Bin Jawad. Once at the heart of the 2011 rebellion, they have either fled for their lives or find themselves under the brutal rule of so-called Islamic State.
- Fascists And Evil Americans: Ukrainian Separatists Launch Magazine For Kids RFE/RL 18 Feb 2016
- Fighting at UN base sheltering civilians in S Sudan kills 5 Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- At least five civilians have been killed and some 30 others injured during gun battles between two rival youth groups at a UN base sheltering civilians in South Sudan.
- South Sudan: UN Mission condemns violence in Malakal protection site UN News 18 Feb 2016 -- The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has strongly condemned violence that erupted last night between Shilluk and Dinka youths in its protection of civilians site in Malakal, in the northeast region of the country.
- Kenya Says It Killed Al-Shabab Intel Chief VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- Kenya's army says it has killed the intelligence chief for the Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab, but the group is denying the claim.
- Breaking out of Israeli-Palestinian political morass requires 'courageous work of many' - UN envoy UN News 18 Feb 2016 -- While violence erupting in Israel and Palestine is regrettably showing "no sign of relenting," the United Nations and its Quartet partners are actively seeking the way forward, the UN envoy for the Middle East peace process told the Security Council today, urging both sides to end the long-standing conflict.
- US Imposes New Sanctions Against N. Korea VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- U.S. President Barack Obama has signed legislation imposing new sanctions against North Korea in response to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.
- Obama to Press Human-Rights Issues in Cuba VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- U.S. President Barack Obama will raise human-rights issues and meet with dissidents 'seeking to support basic universal values' when he makes a historic visit to Cuba next month, White House officials say.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, February 18, 2016 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 18 Feb 2016
- Russia May Decrease Oil Production by 14% by 2020 Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak presented a stress scenario included in the Russian energy strategy up to 2035 at a governmental commission meeting.
- Saudi Arabia says 'not prepared' to cut oil output Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says his country is 'not prepared' to cut oil production to help shore up extremely low prices.
- Turkey PM: Ankara Bomber Syrian With Kurdish Links VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is blaming the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, for killing 28 people in a car bombing of a military convoy Wednesday in Ankara.
- Ukraine vows to fight Russia's 3-billion debt demands Press TV 18 Feb 2016 -- Ukraine has vowed to "decisively" fight Russia's demands for Kiev to fully repay a $3 billion (2.7-billion-euro) loan it failed to return last year.
- VimpelCom Agrees To Pay $795 Million To Settle Uzbek Bribery Claims RFE/RL 18 Feb 2016 -- VimpelCom, the Dutch-headquartered telecom that operates one of Russia's largest mobile communications providers, says it has agreed to pay $795 million to resolved U.S. and Dutch investigations into a bribery scheme in Uzbekistan.
- Ugandan Presidential Candidate Arrested, Alleges Vote-rigging VOA 18 Feb 2016 -- Police in Uganda briefly arrested presidential candidate Kizza Besigye on Thursday after he tried to enter a house he said was being used for rigging the national elections.
- EU Summit Could Clear Way For U.K. Vote On 'Brexit' RFE/RL 18 Feb 2016 -- EU leaders are expected to strike a deal in the next two days to clear the way for British Prime Minister David Cameron to call a U.K. referendum as early as June on continuing membership in the European Union, according to diplomats closely following the negotiations.
- U.S. Dismisses Defamation Lawsuit Linked To Kazakh Family Feud RFE/RL 18 Feb 2016 -- A U.S. federal judge has thrown out a defamation lawsuit brought by a close business associate of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev's former son-in-law, who was found dead in an Austrian jail cell last year.
- Maduro Announces Gasoline Price Increase, Venezuelan Bolivar Devaluation Sputnik 18 Feb 2016 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced an increase in the price of gasoline in the country and the devaluation of the national currency.
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