17 May 2016 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 17 May 2016 [PDF]
- Counter-ISIL Strikes Hit Terrorists in Syria, Iraq AFPS 17 May 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.
- Nearly 1,000 Afghans fleeing their homes daily, warns UN relief wing UN News 17 May 2016 -- The United Nations humanitarian wing has reported that since the beginning of the year, about 1,000 Afghans have fled their homes every day due to fighting, and aid workers are struggling to meet the needs of those on the run from hard hit provinces such as Kunduz, Herat and Uruzugan.
- Pakistan: Too Early to Declare Afghan Taliban 'Irreconcilable' VOA 17 May 2016 -- Pakistan says it is "sincerely" making efforts to reach a negotiated end to the conflict in Afghanistan because doing so would address Islamabad's own security concerns and encourage millions of Afghan refugees and migrants who have lived in Pakistan for decades to return to their country.
Defense Policy / Programs
- US Military Looking at Sites for 2nd Africa Base VOA 17 May 2016 -- The U.S. military has looked at 11 locations for a potential second base in Africa, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).
- Flight plan outlines next 20 years for RPA AFNS 17 May 2016 -- Air Force leaders outlined what the next 20 years will look like for remotely piloted aircraft in the Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Plan published April 30.
- Phoenix Express 2016 Commences NNS 17 May 2016 -- Maritime forces from Europe, North Africa, and the United States began the 10th iteration of the multinational maritime Exercise Phoenix Express, May 17.
- Flying with DRAGON improves capabilities AFNS 17 May 2016 -- A recent successful test flight of an upgraded Flight Management System Suite for the E-3 Sentry (AWACS) provides the warfighter with enhanced battle management capabilities.
- African Air Chiefs Symposium focuses on mobility AFNS 17 May 2016 -- Air chiefs from 26 nations gathered here May 9-13 for the largest African Air Chiefs Symposium in its six-year history.
- Carter Highlights Budget Priorities, Warns of Defense Bill Veto Recommendation AFPS 17 May 2016 -- Defense Secretary Ash Carter highlighted his budget priorities today while warning he would recommend a veto of the National Defense Authorization Act if it contains a "raid on war funding" that puts national security at risk.
- Africom's Chief Discusses Mission to Build Partner Capability AFPS 17 May 2016 -- U.S. Africa Command aims to assist African nations in building capacity and establishing institutions to maintain peace and create stability on the continent, Africom's commander said here today.
- Mount Whitney Departs for BALTOPS NNS 17 May 2016 -- USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) departed Gaeta, Italy, to conduct unit level training in preparation for BALTOPS 2016, May 16.
- Some US Sikh Soldiers No Longer Torn between Faith, Country VOA 17 May 2016 -- When he took off his turban and shaved his beard upon entering the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Captain Simratpal Singh thought he could not serve in the U.S. Army, while keeping articles of his Sikh religion.
- Pentagon Chief: Military Spending Legislation 'Raids War Funds' VOA 17 May 2016 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter accused lawmakers of "budget gimmickry" that could undermine the military's ability to respond to critical threats.
- 3/11 tests chrome-plated barrels USMC News 17 May 2016 -- Marines with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment fired six Pilot Production M776 Chrome Tubes for the 155mm M777A2 Light-weight Towed Howitzer in the Lead Mountain Training Area at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, May 3, 2016.
- Sweden and Finland Pretend to Fish for Russian Subs off Gotland Sputnik 17 May 2016 -- Yesterday, SWEFINEX 2016, a major Swedish-Finnish military exercise, commenced in the vicinity of the Swedish isle of Gotland, which is geared for comprehensive militarization in the wake of Sweden's recent wave of anti-Russian paranoia.
- Royal Air Force Typhoons scramble to meet Russian aircraft UK MOD 17 May 2016-- Royal Air Force Typhoons have completed their second interception in less than a week during the latest NATO Baltic Air Policing mission.
- China does not aim to seek hegemony by developing submarine, expert says People's Daily 17 May 2016 -- China's development of submarines aims to maintain the country's sovereignty and maritime interests rather than to seek for hegemony, Liang Fang, a military expert said in an interview with People's Daily Online.
- China navy ships arrive in South Africa for friendly visit People's Daily 17 May 2016 -- The 22nd Chinese naval escort taskforce arrived Monday at the Simon's Town naval base of South Africa for a four-day friendly visit.
- Indian Air Force to Fly 'Tejas' Homemade Combat Aircraft Sputnik 17 May 2016 -- Chief of Indian Air Force has test flown an indigenously designed and produced Light Combat Aircraft - Tejas, giving the go ahead to roll it out into active operations.
- UK to increase training to Oman UK MOD 17 May 2016 -- The UK will increase its short term training effort in Oman by a third this year, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 5/17/16 The White House 17 May 2016
- May 17, 2016 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 17 May 2016
- 17 May 2016 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 17 May 2016
- Taiping Island deserves exclusive economic zone: president CNA 17 May 2016 -- President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wrote in a letter published in the Wall Street Journal Monday that a claim by the Philippines that Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island is just a rock in the South China Sea "is patently false."
- US Top Brass: Beijing Doesn't 'Support Stability' of South China Sea Region Sputnik 17 May 2016 -- Amid ongoing tensions in the South China Sea, the top US Marine Corps officer has criticized Beijing's activity in the region and vowed that the Pentagon will continue its aggressive tactics around the disputed Spratly Islands.
- Beijing Claims S. China Sea Sovereignty Recognized by Int'l Community Sputnik 17 May 2016 -- In the ongoing South China Sea conflict, Washington has argued that Beijing does not have claims to the waterway. But according to a pair of Chinese diplomats, China's sovereignty over the region has been recognized by the international community since World War II.
- Yemeni people must be at centre of reinvigorated crisis response - senior UN relief official UN News 17 May 2016 -- A senior United Nations relief official today called for increased global efforts to support the more than 13 million people in need of immediate, life-saving assistance in Yemen, following his visit to the conflict-torn country.
- Yemen Walks Out of Peace Talks with Houthi Rebels VOA 17 May 2016 -- Yemen's government walked out of U.N.-sponsored peace talks with Houthi rebels Tuesday, accusing them of having "contempt" for the peace process.
- Saudi-backed delegation pulls out of Yemen talks Press TV 17 May 2016 -- The Saudi-backed delegation in the peace talks on Yemen has declared its withdrawal from the negotiations in Kuwait, a new blow to United Nations' efforts to bring peace to the impoverished country.
- Joint Press Availability With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura US Dept. of State 17 May 2016 -- Press Availability by John Kerry, Secretary of State
- Syria: UN and diplomatic partners warn of return to full-scale war, recommit to reinforce lagging truce UN News 17 May 2016 -- Warning of a return to a full-scale war in Syria, an international group of diplomats reaffirmed its determination to bolster a fragile ceasefire, ensure aid reach those in need, and make progress toward a peaceful political transition, the United Nations said today.
- US Still Has Leverage in Syria, Kerry Asserts VOA 17 May 2016 -- Secretary of State John Kerry is seeking to dispel the notion the U.S. has lost traction in its efforts to counter the Syrian regime because of Russian airstrikes that have been aimed at taking back territory from rebels .
- Zarif: Syrian crisis has no military solution IRNA 17 May 2016 -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Syrian crisis could not be resolved through military means.
- Iran's Zarif says military solution in Syria an 'illusion' ISNA 17 May 2016 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a military solution to the conflict in Syria is nothing but an "illusion."
- 50 militants killed in fresh militiant infighting near Syria's Damascus Press TV 17 May 2016 -- At least 50 foreign-backed militants have been killed during a fresh wave of infighting between Takfiri groups over the control of an area near the Syrian capital, Damascus.
- Syrian people cannot be dictated to: Iran FM Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the political process to resolve the crisis in Syria is exclusively Syrian, stressing that no one can dictate terms to the Arab nation, PressTV reports.
- Some ISSG members view Nusra Front as tool: Russia Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says some members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) view the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorist group as a tool to deter the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- Syrian forces advance against terrorists around gas field in Homs Press TV 17 May 2016 -- The Syrian army forces have advanced against terrorists around a strategic gas filed located close to the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs Province.
- Powers gather in Vienna to discuss Syria crisis Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Top diplomats from 17 nations have resumed Vienna talks on the Syria conflict, hoping to reinvigorate a peace effort that has effectively collapsed.
- Thousands of bodies found in Syria mass grave: Report Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Thousands of bodies have reportedly been found in a mass grave in a northern Syrian town, which had been under the Daesh Takfiri terror group's control for about a month.
- Children, woman killed in US airstrikes in Syria Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Three children and a woman have been killed in eastern Syria in airstrikes conducted by the US-led coalition, purportedly targeting Daesh terrorists.
- Daesh blows up central Syrian gas field near Palmyra: Monitor Press TV 17 May 2016 -- The Daesh terrorist group has carried out massive bomb attacks against a key gas field in central Syria, setting off a minor earthquake in the nearby city of Palmyra, a monitoring group says.
- Syria Meeting Ends in Vienna Without New Date For Peace Talks RFE/RL 17 May 2016 -- International talks aimed at bolstering the peace process for Syria have come to an end in Vienna without a new date being scheduled to restart peace talks.
- Russian Military Denies Reports of New Base in Syria's Palmyra Sputnik 17 May 2016 -- According to Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defense Ministry categorically denied on Tuesday reports of construction of a new Russian military base in the historical part of Syria's ancient city of Palmyra.
- Syrian Army Captures Daesh Commander Near Palmyra Sputnik 17 May 2016 -- According to reports, Syrian army captured a Daesh jihadist group commander during a raid southeast of Palmyra.
- SSG Calls for Syrian Borders to Remain Open for Humanitarian Aid Sputnik 17 May 2016 -- According to a communique issued Tuesday after the ISSG meeting, International Syria Support Group insists that Syrian borders must stay open for humanitarian aid, and that urgent deliveries must reach a number of besieged areas.
- Syrian Army Cuts Off Daesh Supply Routes to Largest Gas Reservoir Sputnik 17 May 2016 -- According to a source familiar with the situation, the Syrian Army has seized the strategic height of Sawwan, cutting off the supply route used by Daesh terrorists to access the Shaer gas reservoir.
- Iraqi soldiers retake town in Anbar from Daesh terrorists Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Iraqi security forces have fully liberated a key town in the western province of Anbar from the grip of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
- Bombings leave over 70 dead in Iraq capital Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Over 70 people have been killed in a fresh series of bomb attacks that rocked various parts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
- At least 45 people killed in Baghdad bombings Press TV 17 May 2016 -- At least 45 people are killed and some 90 others injured in three bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
- Will Arming Libya's 'Unity' Government Escalate Conflict? VOA 17 May 2016 -- The focus was how to combat Islamic State militants and halt their unnerving advance in Libya, just a short boat ride from southern Europe. But Western powers' announcement Monday of their readiness to arm the struggling unity government in Tripoli has gone down badly with a rival government and its militia in the east of the fractious, chaotic country.
- We may solve Daesh issue ourselves, Turkish president says Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Tuesday that Ankara may take unilateral action against the Takfiri Daesh terrorists in Syria if no help is provided by partners in a multi-national coalition against the militants.
- Missile Attack on Helicopter Rocks Turkish Army VOA 17 May 2016 -- A video produced by the PKK Kurdish rebel group appears to show a carefully executed ambush of a Turkish attack helicopter.
- Armenian, Azerbaijani Leaders Renew Cease-Fire In Nagorno-Karabakh RFE/RL 17 May 2016 -- The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan renewed their commitment to a cease-fire in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region and to a peaceful setlement of the conflict.
- New Karabakh deaths after presidents meet Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Two soldiers from Azerbaijan and Armenia have been killed in shootings just after the two countries' presidents renewed commitment to a truce in the disputed Karabakh region.
- Despite Cease-Fire Pledges, Two Killed in Nagorno-Karabakh Clashes RFE/RL 17 May 2016 -- An Azerbaijani soldier and an ethnic Armenian separatist fighter were reportedly killed in Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region on May 17 in the fiercest fighting since a deadly battle killed dozens of people six weeks earlier.
- Colombia: UN chief welcomes agreement to separate children from FARC UN News 17 May 2016 -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the announcement by the Colombian Government and a long-time opposition group Sunday of an agreement to separate and reintegrate children associated with the insurgent force.
- Hamas Digs Deeper to Build Intricate Cross-border Tunnels VOA 17 May 2016 -- A Palestinian boy the Israelis caught near the Gaza border last month turned out to be a treasure trove of deep intelligence about Hamas tunnels into Israel.
- China's Cultural Revolution Caused 'Severe' Harm, State Media Says VOA 17 May 2016 -- The main newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party has offered rare commentary about the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, stating the harm the decade-long upheaval caused was "comprehensive and severe."
- Commentary: China will never allow the repetition of Cultural Revolution People's Daily 17 May 2016 -- Discussions over China's Cultural Revolution, a major setback during the development of China and its party, have been emerging recently.
- Heavy Security as Top China Official Arrives in Hong Kong VOA 17 May 2016 -- With snipers perched atop buildings and thousands of police deployed to maintain security, Zhang Dejiang, the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Hong Kong since pro-democracy protests in 2014, arrived Tuesday for a three-day visit to the port city.
- DPRK's Access to Nukes Is Attributable to U.S. Hostile Policy: Rodong Sinmun KCNA 17 May 2016 -- The balance of forces on the earth has dramatically changed owing to the DPRK's access to nuclear weapons and this is mainly attributable to the U.S. hostile policy toward the former, says Rodong Sinmun Tuesday in an article.
- Iran's Parliament Seeks Compensation From U.S. For 'Moral Damages' RFE/RL 17 May 2016 -- In an apparent tit-for-tat move, Iran's outgoing parliament has passed a bill that requires the government to seek compensation from the United States for "material and moral damages" due to U.S. policies toward Tehran over the past six decades.
- Critics of JCPOA unable to perceive realities: Zarif IRNA 17 May 2016 -- Those who consider the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action as producing no effects are unable to correctly perceive realities and the conditions of the country, says Foreign Minister.
- US Eases Some Myanmar Sanctions VOA 17 May 2016 -- The Obama administration is further easing financial sanctions on Myanmar to support the nation's political reforms and economic growth, and to facilitate U.S. trade with the country also known as Burma. The United States is continuing other measures, however, in an effort to thwart human rights abuses and military trade with North Korea.
- Pakistan's Sharif Says His Wealth Acquired Before Taking Office RFE/RL 17 May 2016 -- Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif defended his financial record and asked parliament to form a commission to investigate allegations stemming from the Panama Papers leak.
- Report: NSA Tapped Phone Of Russian Crime Boss To Probe For Putin Ties RFE/RL 17 May 2016 -- Documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden suggest that the spy agency eavesdropped on a Russian mob kingpin in an effort to determine his possible ties to President Vladimir Putin.
- Russian Opposition Leader Navalny, Supporters Attacked By Cossacks RFE/RL 17 May 2016 -- Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and several members of his Anticorruption Foundation (FBK) were attacked by Cossacks at an airport in the southern Black Sea resort city of Anapa on May 17.
- Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny, Supporters Attacked VOA 17 May 2016 -- A group of men attacked Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and members of his anti-corruption foundation on Tuesday at an airport in southern Russia.
- US Senate OKs 9/11 Lawsuits Against Saudi Arabia VOA 17 May 2016 -- The U.S. Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would allow the survivors and relatives of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States to sue Saudi Arabia's government for damages.
- Saudi holdings in US Treasury unveiled Press TV 17 May 2016 -- The US Treasury Department on Monday released a breakdown of Saudi Arabia's holdings of US debt, ending a longstanding policy of keeping the figures secret that had been in place for more than 41 years.
- Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome to Have 3 Launch Pads - Energia Corporation Sputnik 17 May 2016 -- Russia's Energia Space Corporation said that newly-built Vostochny space center in Russia's Far East will eventually have three launch pads.
- 'One China' is Republic of China: MAC CNA 17 May 2016 -- The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) reiterated Tuesday that the Republic of China is a sovereign state and that it insists that "one China" refers to the "Republic of China."
- U.S. House reaffirms support for Taiwan as Tsai set to take power CNA 17 May 2016 -- The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday unanimously passed a concurrent resolution in support of Taiwan, reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as "the cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations".
- Venezuela's opposition leader urges nation to defy state of emergency Press TV 17 May 2016 -- Amid a political and economic crisis in Venezuela, opposition leader Henrique Capriles urged the nation Tuesday to defy a state of emergency decreed by the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
- Venezuela takes control of food, energy sources to tackle crisis Press TV 17 May 2016 -- The Venezuelan government has given itself sweeping powers to control food and energy supplies and enhance security measures under a state of emergency to tackle an acute economic crisis.
- EU has largely 'abandoned' Greece to deal with migrant crisis on its own, UN expert warns UN News 17 May 2016 -- The suffering of migrants in Greece is the result of a complete absence of long-term vision and the clear lack of political will of the European Union (EU), a United Nations human rights expert said today, warning that Greece, already struggling to cope with fiscal challenges, has been abandoned by the EU to deal with a crisis that requires a response from all countries in the region.
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