24 February 2016 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 24 Feb 2016 [PDF]
- Military Strikes Target ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq AFPS 24 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.
- Shadadi in Syria Expected to Be Liberated Soon, DoD Spokesman Says AFPS 24 Feb 2016 -- The Syrian town of Shadadi is expected to be liberated soon from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a Pentagon spokesman said.
- US plans building new military bases in Iraq's Anbar Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- The United States has decided to build new military bases in Iraq's Anbar Province in an alleged bid to counter Daesh Takfiri terrorists in the volatile region.
- No Evidence Serbians Killed in U.S. Strike in Libya, Defense Official Says AFPS 24 Feb 2016 -- The Defense Department has not received any evidence to support the claim that two Serbian hostages were killed in the U.S. strike last week in Libya, a Pentagon spokesman said today.
- US strikes leave 25 Daesh dead in eastern Afghanistan, officials say. Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Afghan officials say more than two dozen Daesh terrorists have lost their lives in US drone strikes in Afghanistan's troubled eastern province of Nangarhar.
- Afghan Taliban 'Unaware' Of Peace Talk Plans, Says Preconditions Remain RFE/RL 24 Feb 2016 -- The Afghan Taliban's office in Qatar has told RFE/RL that it continues to insist that all foreign troops in the U.S.-led coalition must leave Afghanistan before it will join direct peace talks with the government in Kabul.
- Taliban: 'Unaware' of Upcoming Peace Talks VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- Afghanistan's Taliban says it is unaware of upcoming peace talks with the Kabul government, reiterating no such move can succeed until foreign forces completely withdraw and Sharia (Islamic system) is enforced in the country.
Defense Policy / Programs
- House Republicans Prepare Legal Fight to Stop Obama from Closing Guantanamo VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are preparing to take legal steps to prevent President Barack Obama from closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and transferring some detainees to the United States.
- AF rapid response unit enhances their skills during Patriot Sands AFNS 24 Feb 2016 -- The distinct sound of helicopters hovering, mixed with the roar of jet engines and automatic weapons fire from a nearby range, filled the air on a cool, sunny day in southeast Georgia.
- Senior Medical Leaders Testify on Defense Health Care Reform AFPS 24 Feb 2016 -- Many successful initiatives are underway to reform the Military Health System, but the system will require change to continue its many benefits to readiness and patient care, military medicine's top leaders told a Senate panel yesterday.
- USS William P. Lawrence Supports Pacific Island Region Economic, Environmental Stability NNS 24 Feb 2016 -- Guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) supported two commercial fishing vessel boardings, off the coast of the Republic of Nauru this week, as part of the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI).
- Blue Ridge Engages with Pacific Partner in Osaka NNS 24 Feb 2016 -- U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived in Osaka, Japan, Feb. 24, for a regularly scheduled port visit to further strengthen ties between the United States and Japan.
- US Must Retain Alaska Combat Brigade to Deter Russia in Arctic - Army Chief Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- US Army Chief General Mark Milley thinks that the US should maintain the 4th Infantry Brigade Airborne Combat Team in Alaska to deter Russia in the Arcict and Northern Pacific.
- NATO Rotational Forces in Europe 'Intended to Create Effect of Permanence' Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- The rotational deployment of US and NATO forces in eastern Europe is intended to produce the appearance of a permanent ground force to deter Russia, US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the press on Wednesday.
- Estonia Expects New NATO Units to Arrive in Coming Months – Official Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- Estonia expects NATO military presence in the country to increase with more Alliance units arriving in the coming months, Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Defense Forces Lt. Gen. Riho Terras said Wednesday.
- Moscow Completing Firearms Delivery to Afghanistan Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- Afghanistan received 10,000 AK-47 assault rifles from Russia.
- United Arab Emirates-AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) DSCA 24 Feb 2016 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates for AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) equipment, and logistics support. The estimated cost is $225 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on February 23, 2016.
- Defense minister vows to improve military police training CNA 24 Feb 2016 -- Minister of National Defense Kao Kuang-chi (高廣圻) said Wednesday that he has directed the Military Police Command to improve its training and deal out punishments for trainers who fail to perform their jobs well.
- Arms sales to Taiwan ensures its democracy: U.S. admiral CNA 24 Feb 2016 -- Continued arms sales to Taiwan help ensure its democratic government, the head of the United States Pacific Command said Tuesday.
- Japan Holds Ground Test of First Stealth Aircraft Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, Tokyo conducted a ground test of the country's first domestic fighter jet.
- DPRK warns to use strategic weapons against U.S.-S.Korean forces People's Daily 24 Feb 2016 -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Tuesday that its strategic and tactical weapons are ready to be used for preemptive strikes on South Korea and the United States even if any 'small movements' were found among U.S.-S.Korean special forces, the official KCNA news agency said Tuesday.
- Military action against North Korea possible: Top US cmdr. Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- The United States does not rule out a possible military action against North Korea, if Pyongyang continues to develop its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, says a top US military commander.
- India, Russia Discuss New Contract for 48 Russian Mi-17V-5 Helicopters Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- India and Russia have begun negotiations on a contract to deliver 48 additional Mi-17V-5 helicopters, the Indian ambassador to Moscow, Pankaj Saran, said.
- Government of Iraq-KA-350 Sustainment, Logistics, and Spares Support DSCA 24 Feb 2016 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Iraq for KA-350 sustainment, logistics, and spares support. The estimated cost is $350 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on February 23, 2016.
- NATO Should Realize Erdogan 'Problem, Not Solution' - Assad's Aide Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's actions pose problems for resolving the Syrian conflict rather than helping to find a solution, Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media adviser to the Syrian president, said Wednesday.
- Infighting? Turkey's General Staff Concerned with Erdogan's Syria Policies Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- The former head of the General Staff of the Turkish Intelligence Agency told Sputnik that the Armed Forces have been growing discontent with the Syrian policy of the Turkish leadership.
- Ukraine, Canada in Talks on Providing Kiev With Lethal Weapons Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- Canada and Ukraine are in talks on providing Kiev with lethal weapons, the Ukrainian parliament's press service said Wednesday.
- Press Briefing by the Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 2/24/2016 The White House 24 Feb 2016
- 24 February 2016 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 24 Feb 2016
- China reaffirms self-defense legitimacy on reported radar deployment in South China Sea People's Daily 24 Feb 2016 -- China on Tuesday reaffirmed its right to self-defense and refuted U.S. accusation as 'hyping with ulterior motives' after a U.S. think tank report said China might be installing radar on islands in the South China Sea.
- China Redeploys Fighter Jets on Disputed Island VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- China has again sent fighter jets to a disputed island where earlier this month it redeployed surface-to-air missiles and appears to be building a sophisticated radar system, according to U.S. officials.
- Yemeni forces kill 50 Saudi troops in missile attack Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Yemeni forces have managed to kill at least 50 Saudi troops, including commanders, in a ballistic missile attack in the country's northern Jawf province.
- YPG says observes Syria ceasefire but will retaliate, if attacked Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have announced that they will observe a Russia-US ceasefire plan in Syria, but will retaliate if attacked.
- Russia in ceasefire talks with Syria armed groups Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Russia has begun negotiations with militant groups operating in Syria on implementing a planned ceasefire in five Syrian provinces, the defense ministry says.
- Russia urges appraisal of Turkey shelling of Syria Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Russia has called on international human rights organizations to appraise Turkish artillery shelling inside the Syria territory, denouncing as illegal Ankara's military campaign in the crisis-hit Arab country.
- Damascus pledges to preserve Syria's territoral integrity Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Syrian government has dismissed recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry on the possibility of partitioning of Syria, voicing its determination to preserve the country's integrity and defeat terrorism.
- Syria rejects reports of UN-backed commission Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations says Damascus does not recognize the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria as its reports are based on "fake" accounts.
- US, allies reducing effectiveness of Syria truce deal: Russia FM Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Russia's foreign minister has criticized the US and its allies, accusing them of undermining a recently brokered ceasefire agreement in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
- Turkey's Erdogan: Keep Kurds out of Syria ceasefire Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Syrian Kurdish forces must be excluded from a ceasefire agreement between the warring sides in Syria.
- Militant rocket attacks leave 12 dead across Syria Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- At least a dozen people have been killed and 19 others injured in separate rocket attacks by foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants against residential areas across Syria.
- Over 50 People Work at Truce Center at Russia's Airbase in Syria Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- More than 50 people are involved in the operations of the reconciliation coordination center in Syria at the Russian Hmeymim airbase, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
- Syrian Army Conducting Offensive Against Daesh Stronghold in Aleppo Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- The Syrian army is conducting an offensive on the Daesh terrorist stronghold in the eastern part of Syria's Aleppo province, a military source said Wednesday.
- Tough Battle: Syria Army Further Liberates Aleppo Supply Route From Daesh Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- The Syrian army has liberated strategically important towns located on the governmental supply line to the city of Allepo from Daesh terrorists, a source in the Syrian militia said.
- Russian Warplanes Strike Almost 200 Terrorist Targets in Syria in Two Days Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- Russian jets carried out 187 airstrikes on terrorist targets in Syria in the course of 62 sorties during the past two days, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said Wednesday. Areas where warring sides agreed to cease hostilities and start negotiations were not targeted, he emphasized.
- Free Syrian Army Yet to Decide on Participation in Syrian Ceasefire Deal Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels remain undecided about upholding the ceasefire agreement due to come into force on February 27, a senior source in the FSA said Wednesday.
- Syrian Army in Tough Battle to Reopen Hama-Aleppo Supply Route Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- The Syrian Army and its popular allies have launched a major operation to dislodge militant groups from the surroundings of the government forces' main supply line from Hama to Aleppo, Iran's Fars news agency reported.
- 'Everyone is losing' in the Syrian conflict, UN relief chief tells Security Council UN News 24 Feb 2016 -- While welcoming the recent announcement of a cessation of hostilities in Syria as a "long-awaited signal of hope," the top United Nations humanitarian official today echoed the calls of the world body and the international community at large for the parties involved to work towards a more durable ceasefire and facilitate conditions for increased protection and humanitarian aid.
- Analysts: Assad's Ba'athists Would Win Electoral Landslide VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ruling Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party would win a landslide victory in any parliamentary elections held either in the next few months or during a political transition following a permanent cessation of hostilities in the war-ravaged country, election experts and diplomats warn.
- UN Aid Chief on Syria: No Winners, Only Losers VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- The U.N. humanitarian chief said Wednesday that a nationwide cessation of hostilities due to start in Syria on Saturday must not be squandered.
- Obama Cautious on Whether Syria Cease-Fire Will Lead to Peace VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- President Barack Obama sounded a cautious note Wednesday on whether the impending cease-fire in Syria would lead to peace talks to end the country's five-year civil war.
- Deployment of Turkish Troops in Iraq Against Baghdad's Will 'Insolent' Sputnik 24 Feb 2016 -- The Turkish forces' presence on Iraqi territory without Baghdad's approval was insolence and an attempt to distract Iraqi authorities from fight against Daesh, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Wednesday.
- France deploys forces to Libya to allegedly fight against Daesh Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- A report says French special forces have been deployed in Libya under the pretext of fighting Daesh terrorists operating in the North African country.
- Local Libyan forces clear Sabratha of Daesh terrorists Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Libya's local military brigades have forced Daesh terrorists out of Sabratha after the Takfiri militants briefly entered the center of the northwestern city in the crisis-hit African country, authorities say.
- UN envoy urges formal launch of a national unity government in Libya UN News 24 Feb 2016 -- The United Nations envoy for Libya today called for an immediate step to formalize the parliamentary approval of a national unity Government, as its launch is vital to peace and stability in this post-conflict country.
- Pakistan army chief orders final phase of offensive against militants Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- The chief of the Pakistani army staff ordered Wednesday the immediate launch of the last phase of a security operation to purge the remnants of terrorists from hideouts across the volatile tribal regions near the Afghan border.
- Russian Military Command Found Linked To MH17 Downing RFE/RL 24 Feb 2016 -- A team of open-source researchers investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has published a report it provided to Dutch prosecutors linking the commanders of a Russian military unit to the plane's downing.
- US 'Deeply Concerned' About Spike in East Ukraine Fighting VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- A senior official said the U.S. is "deeply concerned" about an escalation in the conflict between government forces and pro-Russia separatist rebels in recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, despite a series of cease-fire attempts.
- South Sudan oppostion forces to deploy to capital Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- South Sudanese soldiers allied with the country's former rebel leader, Riek Machar, will deploy to the capital, Juba, in line with a peace deal, a regional peace observer says.
- Darfur: UN deeply concerned over thousands of newly-displaced people in region's north UN News 24 Feb 2016 -- The top United Nations humanitarian official in Sudan said today she is deeply concerned about the plight of more than 85,000 newly displaced civilians in North Darfur state who have fled their villages in recent days as a result of an escalation of conflict in the region's Jebel Marra area.
- Egyptian forces kill 12 militants, arrest over three dozens in Sinai Peninsula Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Government forces in Egypt have killed 12 Takfiri militants and arrested more than three dozen others during security raids in the volatile Sinai Peninsula of the North African country.
- Balkans border closures cause chaos as refugees find 'too few places' to go, UN agency chief warns UN News 24 Feb 2016 -- Europe is backing into an even greater refugee crisis by tightening border restrictions on the hundreds of thousands fleeing conflicts elsewhere, the head of the United Nations refugee agency has said on a visit to the island of Lesvos in Greece.
- Uganda Opposition Gathers Evidence to Challenge Election Outcome VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- Uganda's main opposition party says it's working hard to gather evidence to legally challenge the outcome of the February 18 general election.
- Uganda's Besigye Challenges 'Illegal' Detention VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- Uganda's main opposition presidential candidate, Dr. Kizza Besigye said he has asked his lawyers to challenge in a court of law what he called his continued "illegal" detention by the police.
- Bolivia's Morales Accepts Referendum Defeat VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- Bolivian President Evo Morales acknowledged defeat in a referendum aimed at allowing him to run for a fourth term in 2019.
- Morales loses referendum to run for fourth term Press TV 24 Feb 2016 -- Bolivian President Evo Morales has lost a referendum on a constitutional change to allow him to seek a fourth term, official results show.
- Long-Distance IS Threat Roils Bosnia, Top Islamic Cleric RFE/RL 24 Feb 2016 -- Authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina are scrambling to provide extra security for the country's most senior Islamic cleric, Grand Mufti Husein Kavazovic, after a Bosnian thought to be fighting with the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Syria issued a threat via the Internet.
- Iran's Hard-Liners Accuse Britain Of Backing Moderates In Upcoming Vote RFE/RL 24 Feb 2016 -- Iranian hard-liners are trying to undermine their moderate opponents ahead of the February 26 parliamentary elections by alleging that their list of candidates is supported by Great Britain.
- Enemy failed in plots against Iran: Ayatollah Khamenei ISNA 24 Feb 2016 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said enemy has failed to prevent the Iranian people's allegiance to the Islamic establishment through pressure over the past 37 years.
- The upcoming elections in Iran ISNA 24 Feb 2016 -- The Iranian people will go to the polls on Friday to elect jurisprudential experts for the fifth term of the Assembly of Expert as well as representatives for the 10th parliament.
- Iran sees new oil deals of up to $15 billion ISNA 24 Feb 2016 -- Iran is expecting to sign $10-15 billion of oil deals within a year under a new contract model which is undergoing modifications, head of the top state oil company NIOC said.
- Critics Warn N. Korean Sanctions Are All Pain, No Gain VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- A significant minority of South Koreans oppose Washington and Seoul led efforts to impose harsh economic sanctions on the Kim Jong Un government. These critics say this confrontational approach has fueled regional tensions and they warn that further punitive measures will only worsen the poverty stricken conditions in the North and greatly increase the risk of war.
- Commerce Minister declares China successfully becomes a consumption driven economy People's Daily 24 Feb 2016 -- China has successfully made the transformation from an economy whose growth is mainly driven by investment and foreign trade to one that is powered by domestic demand, especially consumption, said Gao Hucheng, minister of commerce, during a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on Tuesday.
- Chinese President Continues to Expand Media Controls VOA 24 Feb 2016 -- China's recent announcement of a stringent new publishing law for online content and a visit by the country's increasingly powerful leader to several state-run media headquarters is but the latest chilling sign of President Xi Jinping's efforts to exert increasing control over society, analysts say.
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