31 March 2016 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 31 Mar 2016 [PDF]
- Department of Defense Press Briefing by Maj. Gen. Chalmers via teleconference in the Pentagon Press Briefing Room DoD 31 Mar 2016 -- Presenter: U.K. Major General Doug Chalmers, deputy commander, Strategy and Sustainment, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve
- Counter-ISIL Strikes Continue in Syria, Iraq AFPS 31 Mar 2016 -- U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
- Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on US-Russia Video Conference Discussing the Flight Safety Memorandum of Understanding DoD 31 Mar 2016
- U.S. solidifies commitment to Iraqi partners in fight to defeat ISIL USMC News 31 Mar 2016 -- It has been nine months since the second iteration of Task Force Al Asad's advise and assist team stepped on deck, and in that time, an ironclad partnership was forged and lasting friendships were made.
- Pakistan, Afghanistan Return to War of Words VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- Pakistan has rejected Afghan allegations its intelligence agency is behind the Taliban's resurgence and that Islamabad is not helping in efforts to end the war in Afghanistan.
Defense Policy / Programs
- US Preparing to Transfer More Prisoners From Guantanamo Bay VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- U.S. military officials have informed Congress that they plan to transfer about a dozen inmates from the terrorist detention facility at the naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
- Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on DoD's Partnership with HackerOne on the "Hack the Pentagon" Security Initiative DoD 31 Mar 2016 -- The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today that interested participants may now register to compete in the "Hack the Pentagon" pilot. The pilot, designed to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities within DoD websites through crowdsourcing, is the first bug bounty program in the history of the federal government.
- US, NATO switching 'assurance to deterrence' in E Europe Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- A top US general says the United States and NATO are switching their defense doctrine from assurance to deterrence in Eastern Europe over Russia's behavior.
- Glonass Navigation System's Ground Infrastructure Successfully Completed Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- The testing of the ground control system of the Glonass satellite navigation system has been completed, Nikolay Testoyedov, the Head of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Company told Izvestia newspaper.
- Russian Black Sea Fleet to Get 3 New Kalibr Missile-Equipped Ships in 2016 Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- According to the commander of the fleet's naval surface force, three new Kalibr missile-equipped ships will reinforce the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet this year.
- Russia to Answer Asymmetrically to NATO Major Build–Up in Europe Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- Russia will not passively watch the US and NATO build-up in Europe and will provide an asymmetrical response, which will be highly efficient, not elaborately expensive and calibrated in accordance with Russia's understanding of the extent of the military threat, Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said on Wednesday.
- Russian MiG-31 Interceptor Jet to Stay in Service Until 2028 Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- The MiG-31 interceptor aircraft will stay in service until 2028, when a replacement will be introduced, Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG CEO Sergei Korotkov said Thursday.
- EC Secretary: Iran's missile defense program not negotiable IRNA 31 Mar 2016 -- Expediency Council (EC) Secretary Mohsen Rezaei wrote on an Instagram post on Thursday that Iran's right for self-defense is not negotiable and said it will remain so in the future as well.
- Senior Diplomat: JCPOA not related to missile issue IRNA 31 Mar 2016 -- Director General for political and international security of Foreign Ministry Hamid Baeedinejad noted that Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has no connection with missile issue and country's defensive capability, but unfortunately a number of people insist on directly relating the two issues.
- Iran won't need permission on defense capabilities: Minister Dehqan Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Iran's defense minister says the country will not wait for permission from "others" to boost its defense capabilities after the US and its allies urge the UN to take action over Tehran's missile tests.
- Obama Stresses Commitment to Turkey Security in Meeting With Erdogan VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday assured his Turkish counterpart of American commitment to the security of Turkey, a critical ally in the fight against the Islamic State group.
- Turkey's military dismisses allegations of planning for coup Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- The Turkish army has dismissed as "baseless" media reports that it was planning a coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- Turkish General Staff Rejects Reports of Alleged Military Coup Preparations Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- The Turkish army on Thursday rejected media speculation about a possible military coup in the country, taking legal action against those responsible for spreading such rumors.
- Turkish base in Qatar to be ready in two years: Minister Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Turkey's Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz says a multi-purpose military base for the country's air force and navy in Qatar will be ready within two years as part of a defense agreement signed between the two countries.
- Bombs or Food: Pyongyang to Spend Over 15% of State Budget on Defense Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- North Korea has allocated 15.8 percent from the 2016 state budget for defense purposes, the state-run media reported Thursday.
- Financial Issues Restrain Russia-Cuba Military-Technical Cooperation Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- Russia will play a crucial role in the Cuba's defense industry enterprises` modernization.
- Press Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on the Nuclear Security Summit, 3/31/2016 The White House 31 Mar 2016
- China unlikely to declare South China Sea air defense zone: official CNA 31 Mar 2016 -- Chances are low that China will declare an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the contested South China Sea in the near term, a Taiwanese official said Thursday, noting that Beijing is still trying to build up its military capabilities in the region.
- No need for US gesticulation on South China Sea plans: Beijing Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- China has denounced the recent speculation by US officials about Beijing's plans in the disputed South China Sea, saying there is no need to "gesticulate" over the initiatives.
- Dialogue 'is the key' to solve sea dispute People's Daily 31 Mar 2016 -- Beijing and Hanoi have agreed to seek fundamental solutions to disputes over the South China Sea through dialogue, with their defense ministers concluding talks on Wednesday.
- Manila declines to comment on Taiwan's invitation to Taiping Island CNA 31 Mar 2016 -- The Philippines declined to comment Thursday on an invitation by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to send Philippine government representatives or lawyers to visit Taiping Island, which Taiwan claims as its territory, in the contested South China Sea.
- Dozens of Saudi-led troops killed in north Yemen Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Yemen's Ansarullah fighters and their allied army units have launched a deadly attack on Saudi-backed troops north of the country, killing dozens of invading forces.
- Yemen: year of conflict puts 3.4 million women of reproductive age at risk, UN reports UN News 31 Mar 2016 -- A year of conflict in Yemen has left an estimated 3.4 million women of reproductive age between 15 and 49 years in need of humanitarian assistance, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has reported, expressing growing concern about the situation.
- Erdogan army fighting in Syria, says President Assad Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says an army led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is fighting in Syria alongside Takfiri militants.
- Kurds Disagree With Assad's Logic Against Syrian Federalism Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party representative to the United States Mehmet Yuksel said that if Assad believes minorities in Syria are not eligible to form a federal system, one can easily argue that the president's Alawite minority should not have been able to rule over a central state for more than 50 years.
- Assad: Turkish Downing of Russian Jet Was Aggression Against Damascus Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- Bashar Assad said that Turkey's attack against a Russian aircraft in Syrian airspace can be considered aggression against Syria itself.
- Assad to Sputnik: Russian Military Operations in Syria Largely Successful Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- The Syrian president stated that Russia has contributed to the peace process in Syria greatly.
- Assad to Sputnik: Deployment of UN Peacekeepers in Syria 'Impossible' Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- The deployment of UN peacekeeping forces in Syria would be an illogical and impossible move, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Sputnik.
- Kurdish Representative Says Assad 'Not Ready' for Political Transition Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- Rodi Osman, the head of Syrian Kurdistan's representative office in Moscow said that the Syrian Kurds continue to insist on federalization despite recent statements by President Bashar Assad claiming that Syria is too small to be federalized.
- Assad Says Syria Ceasefire Can Be Assessed as 'Better Than Good' Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- Syrian President Bashar Assad stated that ceasefire process in Syria can be assessed as "better than good" and many groups have agreed to lay down their weapons in favor of politics.
- Turkey Threatens More Shelling on Syrian Kurds if Advance Continues Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- Turkish Armed Forces will continue to shell Kurdish militias in northern Syria along the Turkish border, if Kurdish forces cross the line between Jarabulus and Azaz, according to local media.
- Assad Ready for Snap Presidential Election if Syrian People Call for It Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- The Syrian president told Sputnik he is ready to hold snap presidential election if the people call for it.
- UN: Syrian Government Hindering Aid Delivery to Besieged Areas VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- The United Nations says the Syrian government is not allowing aid agencies to deliver life-saving humanitarian relief to hundreds of thousands of people living in several besieged areas in the country.
- Iraqi troops outside Hit gates: Army Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Iraqi troops are advancing towards the western town of Hit in a push to drive out Daesh militants, the military says.
- Daesh terrorists kill 50 Iraqi citizens in Iraqi Fallujah, Mosul Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Members of the terrorist Daesh group have reportedly executed dozens of civilians in Iraq's western province of al-Anbar as well as the northern province of Nineveh.
- Erdogan urges Europe to support Ankara's anti-PKK campaign Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on European countries to support Ankara's military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) following a bomb attack, which hit Turkish forces in southeastern province of Diyarbakir.
- Violence rages as new govt. sails to Libya Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Libya hunkers down in fear as clashes erupt after the head of a UN-backed government arrives in the capital by sea to set up a temporary seat of power in a naval base.
- Croats, Bosnians Dismayed By Serbian Nationalist Seselj's Acquittal RFE/RL 31 Mar 2016 -- Croats and Bosnians have reacted with dismay to the acquittal of Serbian nationalist Vojislav Seselj by a UN court.
- Serbian Nationalist Acquitted of War Crimes VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) acquitted Serbian ultranationalist leader Vojislav Seselj Thursday of all nine counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity brought against him in connection with the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
- Arms export to Ukraine worsens crisis, violates peace deals: Russia Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Russia says the supply of arms to Ukraine will not help settle the conflict gripping the East European state and will rather complicate the implementation of the Minsk peace deals.
- Nigeria locals reveal another mass abduction by Boko Haram Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Local residents say Boko Haram militants kidnapped hundreds of children from a remote town in northeast Nigeria back in late 2014 but local officials did not report the abductions.
- French, UN troops accused of horrendous abuse in CAR Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- French troops and UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) are facing "extremely troubling" allegations of abusing the local population.
- Probe into sexual abuse in Central African Republic must 'leave no stone unturned' - UN rights chief UN News 31 Mar 2016 -- The United Nations human rights chief today described the latest reports of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Central African Republic as "sickening," calling for a thorough investigation into alleged conducts by UN and French troops, as well as local armed groups.
- Civilians remain at risk in South Sudan, despite peace agreements, Security Council told UN News 31 Mar 2016 -- Senior United Nations officials today cautioned that the humanitarian and human rights situation in South Sudan remains dire, and asked the Security Council to call on the parties to the conflict and armed actors to uphold their obligations under international law to protect civilians and aid workers, and grant free access for delivery of life-saving supplies.
- Belgium Approves Extradition of Paris Attacks Suspect to France VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- The main suspect in last November's terrorist attacks in Paris can be extradited from Belgium to France, Belgium's federal prosecutor announced on Thursday.
- US Military Veterans Join Christian Militia in Anti-IS Fight VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- Directly north of Mosul and face-to-face with Islamic State is a small pocket of bombed and abandoned Christian villages. But across the gravel track from one of the empty villages, abandoned when IS militants stormed the area in 2014, is one row of houses that is still occupied.
- European Intel Sharing 'Getting Better' with US Push VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- Diplomats and law enforcement officials say European security agencies are sharing more information and intelligence – and doing it more quickly – thanks in part to help from the United States.
- Threat Remains One Year After Garissa University Terror Attack VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- This Saturday Kenya will mark the one-year anniversary of the terror attack on Garissa University. Al-Shabab militants killed 148 people there, most of them students. In the past year, Kenya says it has heightened its response capabilities. But the region, and the continent, remain on high alert for further attacks.
- Focus on North Korea, Islamic State at Obama Nuclear Summit VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday that in the wake of attacks in places including Brussels, there is "not only great urgency around the nuclear issue, but eliminating generally the scourge of terrorism."
- Lax Nuclear Security Opens Gaps for IS, Other Terrorists VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- Russia's absence from the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington this week raises questions about the international community's ability to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorists, say analysts.
- US, Japan, S. Korea Urge Strict Sanctions Enforcement Against N. Korea VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- President Barack Obama and the leaders of Japan and South Korea on Thursday urged the international community to "vigilantly enforce" tougher U.N. sanctions against North Korea following Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests this year.
- Dam Project of Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station No. 3 Completed KCNA 31 Mar 2016 -- Members of the youth shock brigade of the DPRK finished the dam project of the Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station No. 3 on Thursday.
- DPRK FM Spokesman Blames U.S. for Escalating Tension on Korean Peninsula KCNA 31 Mar 2016 -- A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry Thursday released a statement hitting out at the U.S. for its foolish attempt to shift the blame for the escalated tension on the Korean peninsula on to the DPRK.
- North Korea May Respond to Potential US Aggression With 'Nuclear Forces' Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- Pyongyang is ready to use nuclear forces against the United States, according to the statement of North Korea's Foreign Ministry.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, March 31, 2016 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 31 Mar 2016
- Russia Says It Detained Ukrainian Spy RFE/RL 31 Mar 2016 -- Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has captured a Ukrainian security officer who volunteered to spy for Moscow and will send him back because they believe he is a double agent.
- Russian FSB Detains CIA-Trained Ukrainian Spy Sputnik 31 Mar 2016 -- Ukrainian Security Forces officer was detained by the Russian Federal Security Services, the FSB said Thursday.
- South African Court Orders Zuma to Pay Up VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- South Africa's Constitutional Court has ordered President Jacob Zuma to repay some of the $16 million in public funds used for upgrades at his private home. The ruling Thursday comes as authorities investigate Zuma for another more recent scandal, alleged undue influence given to the wealthy Gupta family.
- China Crackdown on Dissent Raising Questions About International Role VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- As China's influence grows and the world looks to Beijing to play a constructive role as an international stakeholder, its growing resolve to silence its critics at home and abroad is raising concerns. And instead of achieving the apparent goal of silencing its critics, China's actions are fueling a backlash, rights advocates said.
- Presidential-Style Powers Proposed for Aung San Suu Kyi VOA 31 Mar 2016 -- The party of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi submitted a proposal that would make her an official "state advisor," a move that would allow her to play a dominate role in running the country.
- Senior Iraqi cleric orders supporters to halt Baghdad sit-in Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on his supporters to stop a sit-in inside Baghdad's Green Zone district aimed at pressing the government to reform the country's political structure in a bid to tackle corruption.
- Prime Minister Abadi presents new Iraqi cabinet lineup Press TV 31 Mar 2016 -- Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq has presented a list with the names of candidates for ministries as he works up a new cabinet lineup.
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