16 December 2016 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 16 Dec 2016 [PDF]
- Coalition Strikes Continue Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq AFPS 16 Dec 2016 -- U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
- Airstrikes Destroy ISIL's Captured Tanks AFPS 16 Dec 2016 -- Coalition aircraft destroyed 14 tanks and other equipment near Palmyra, Syria, that had previously been captured by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant forces.
- Kentucky National Guard Construction Soldiers deploy to Middle East Army News 16 Dec 2016 -- The 207th will conduct construction operations in the Middle East, Central and South Asia in support of U.S. Army Central Command. Their missions will focus on road and runway repair, base maintenance, drainage correction projects, and culvert installation. The 207th will conduct multiple construction missions across multiple countries simultaneously.
- DOD Releases Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan DoD 16 Dec 2016 -- Today the Department of Defense provided to the Congress a report on "Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan" covering events during the period from June 1 - Nov. 30.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Chinese Seize U.S. Navy Underwater Drone in South China Sea AFPS 16 Dec 2016 -- Using appropriate government-to-government channels, the Defense Department has called upon China to immediately return an unmanned underwater vehicle that it unlawfully seized yesterday in the South China Sea, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement today.
- Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Incident in South China Sea DoD 16 Dec 2016 -- Using appropriate government-to-government channels, the Department of Defense has called upon China to immediately return an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that China unlawfully seized on Dec. 15 in the South China Sea while it was being recovered by a U.S. Navy oceanographic survey ship.
- Chinese warship captures US Navy underwater drone Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- A Chinese warship has captured US Navy underwater drone collecting information in the South China Sea, according to the Pentagon.
- Pentagon Urges China to Return 'Unlawfully Seized' Underwater Drone to US Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- The US Department of Defense said China must immediately return a US unmanned underwater vehicle it "unlawfully seized" in the South China Sea.
- Pentagon Says Chinese Warship Seizes U.S. Underwater Drone In South China Sea RFE/RL 16 Dec 2016 -- The Pentagon says a Chinese warship has seized an unmanned U.S. Navy underwater glider that was collecting unclassified scientific data in the South China Sea.
- China Seizes US Navy Underwater Drone in South China Sea VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- The Chinese Navy has seized a U.S. naval underwater drone from international waters in the South China Sea.
- Army's first armored multi-purpose vehicle rolls off production line Army News 16 Dec 2016 -- The first armored multi-purpose vehicle rolled off the production line in York, Pennsylvania, Thursday.
- Aircrew Injured During Ground Aircraft Emergency; Naval Air Forces Declares Operational Pause for Super Hornet and Growler Fleet NNS 16 Dec 2016 -- A U. S. Navy E/A-18G jet assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132 experienced an on-deck emergency at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island at approximately 1100 (PST), today.
- New York Army and Air Guard team up for airload training Army News 16 Dec 2016 -- New York Army National Guard Military Police Soldiers ramped up their deployment skills, Dec. 3-4, when they teamed up with Air Guardsmen to load trucks and trailers onto C-17s flown by the 105th Airlift Wing here.
- Arizona Army National Guard teamed with Canadian Army for Cougar Conqueror 2016 Army News 16 Dec 2016 -- Members of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 158th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion teamed up with Canadian Army logisticians to provide the manpower, sweat and service needed for Exercise Cougar Conqueror 2016.
- South Carolina Army National Guard deploys to Guantanamo Army News 16 Dec 2016 -- Soldiers assigned to the 131st Military Police Company, South Carolina Army National Guard, deployed to Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba, from the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group here Nov. 29, to conduct detainee operations. This will be the first time the unit has supported a mission such as this, but after completing training with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security the Soldiers feel prepared.
- More women than expected pursuing combat arms positions Army News 16 Dec 2016 -- Full gender integration in the Army is exceeding expectations, with more than 300 women successfully recruited or transferred into the service's most physically demanding career fields in 2016, according to senior leaders.
- SWRMC completes first Selected Restricted Availability on USS Independence NNS 16 Dec 2016 -- Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) completed the first-ever Selected Restricted Availability on USS Independence (LCS 2) Dec. 9.
- Expeditionary group clears way for combat ops AFNS 16 Dec 2016 -- When the Airmen of the 407th Air Expeditionary Group received notification in mid-October that they would bed down an expeditionary fighter squadron, they didn't spare a moment getting ready.
- Greyhawks sink talons into TRAP mission USMC News 16 Dec 2016 -- Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161, "Greyhawks," conducted tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel (TRAP) training mission at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Dec. 6.
- USS Mason Arrives in Belfast NNS 16 Dec 2016 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG), and the embarked detachment of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 arrived in Belfast, U.K., Dec.15, 2016 for a scheduled port visit to enhance the United States' and United Kingdom's relations as the two nations work together for a stable, secure and prosperous Europe.
- US Military Tests Ground Forces Communication With Space-Based IR Satellites Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- The US military tested the latest version of the ground-based Joint Tactical Ground System (JTAGS) that communicates with space-based infrared satellites.
- Russia, NATO schedule security talks Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Russia and NATO are set to hold talks on issues of high mutual interest, the Western military alliance has announced, amid increased hostilities between the two sides.
- Russian Defense Ministry Confirms $1.6Bln Budget Cut in 2017 Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- The Russian defense budget is expected to shrink by six percent or 100 billion rubles (some $1.62 bln) in 2017, Deputy Defense Minister Tatiana Shevtsova said Friday.
- Funding for Russia's Operation in Syria Part of Defense Ministry General Budget Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- The funding of the Russian Aerospace Forces' operation in Syria is a part of the general budget of the Russian Defense Ministry.
- Russia's Paramilitary Mercenaries Emerge From The Shadows RFE/RL 16 Dec 2016 -- On December 9, the Kremlin marked the Day of Heroes of the Fatherland with a lavish event attended by "more than 300 military personnel and civilians who have demonstrated particular courage and heroism, including Heroes of the Soviet Union, Heroes of Russia," and other top honorees. President Vladimir Putin personally addressed the audience and thanked them for their service.
- CNS Liaoning leads live-fire drill People's Daily 16 Dec 2016 -- China recently carried out the first live-fire exercise for its aircraft carrier battle group in the Bohai Sea, the People's Liberation Army Navy said on Thursday night.
- Chinese battle group conducts live-fire drills Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- A Chinese naval battle group, involving a homemade aircraft carrier, has conducted a live-fire drill in northeastern waters in a show of force amid an escalating war of words with the United States.
- Military expert: China's J-20 stealth fighter may break Western monopoly People's Daily 16 Dec 2016 -- China's J-20 stealth fighter could break the monopoly of Western countries on fourth-generation fighters, perhaps even exerting a bigger influence than the American F-22 Raptor, according to Chinese military expert Li Li in a CCTV interview.
- Coast guards of Philippines, China vow to enhance cooperation People's Daily 16 Dec 2016 -- The Philippines Coast Guard(PCG) and the China Coast Guard (CCG) agreed to strengthen cooperation and mutual trust in certain maritime issues, according to a joint statement released on Friday in Manila.
- India Racing to Develop Amphibious Warfare Hub in Indian Ocean Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- Having recently commissioned eight amphibious warfare ships, the Indian Navy is now looking to procure larger vessels of the same class.
- S.Korean frontrunner in presidential poll argues for delay of THAAD deployment People's Daily 16 Dec 2016 -- South Korea's frontrunner in presidential polls on Thursday made out his case that the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in his country must be delayed to allow the next government to review it.
- Press Conference by the President The White House 16 Dec 2016
- China claims legitimacy of defensive facilities on South China Sea People's Daily 16 Dec 2016 -- The recent accusation by the U.S. of China's deployment of defense facilities in the South China Sea was denounced by the latter's diplomatic and military authorities, which reiterated the country's sovereignty over the disputed waters.
- Yemen on verge of famine amid Saudi attacks: UN officials Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations aid official in Yemen says the country is on the brink of famine, with a Saudi-led war having battered its economy and preventing distribution of food supplies to the hunger-stricken.
- Iran ready to dispatch humanitarian aid to Syria: First VP Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri has expressed the Islamic Republic's readiness to send humanitarian aid to conflict-ridden areas in Syria, urging joint Tehran-Ankara efforts to diplomatically resolve the crisis in the Arab country.
- Syrian army in full control of eastern Aleppo: Russia Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- The Syrian military has wrested full control of the militant-held eastern Aleppo, scoring a major victory against terrorists in the strategic northwestern city, Russia says.
- Aleppo evacuation suspended as militants breach ceasefire Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Evacuations of civilians and militants from eastern Aleppo have been suspended after terrorists opened fire on a convoy at one of the crossing points, Syrian state television says.
- Aleppo Evacuation Suspended Amid Conflicting Truce Violation Accusations RFE/RL 16 Dec 2016 -- The evacuation of civilians and rebel fighters from remaining rebel-held territory in the Syrian city of Aleppo was suspended on December 16 amid conflicting allegations of cease-fire violations.
- This is the Whole Story of Aleppo's Liberation by Syrian Army Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry's reconciliation center reported that the Syrian army's operation to liberate the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo was completed, drawing the line under a long-time battle for the city.
- Over 2,700 Children Evacuated From Aleppo Within 24 Hours - UNICEF Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- Almost 3,000 children have been rescued from the Syrian city of Aleppo within the last 24 hours, however, hundreds remain trapped, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement on Friday.
- Syrian Army's Operation to Liberate Militants-Controlled East Aleppo Ends Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- The Syrian army's operation to liberate militants-controlled eastern Aleppo has ended, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
- Aleppo Reports Conflict Amid Accounts of Massacre by Iran-backed Militias VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- Russia said the operation to evacuate civilians and insurgents from eastern Aleppo has been completed, but opposition leaders say there are tens of thousands remaining in once rebel-held neighborhoods and accuse Iranian militias and Hezbollah of executing several men in the last convoy to leave the city.
- Syria Suspends Aleppo Evacuation VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- The Syrian government suspended the evacuation of civilians from eastern Aleppo Friday after blasts and gunfire were hard in parts of the city and both rebels and government forces accused the other of breaking the fragile cease-fire agreement.
- Iraqi Air Force kills 20 Daesh commanders near Mosul Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Nearly two dozen high-ranking figures of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group have been killed when Iraqi Air Force fighter jets carried out an airstrike near Mosul as government forces and their allied fighters are trying to boot the extremists out of the strategic northern city.
- Daesh Leader Hiding in Bunker Near Mosul - Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Chief Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- Daesh leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is currently hiding underground near the city of Mosul, Iraqi Maj. Gen. Fadhil Jalil Barwari said on Friday.
- Iraq: UN refugee agency steps up response as Mosul conflict displaces nearly 100,000 UN News 16 Dec 2016 -- With the number of people displaced from Mosul approaching 100,000 since the military operation to oust terrorists from the Iraqi city began three months ago, the United Nations refugee agency is bolstering its capacity to host and support civilians fleeing the fighting.
- Libya Against Presence of Foreign Troops on its Territory - Parliament Speaker Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- Libya will not agree to allow the presence of foreign military forces on its territory, Aguila Saleh, the speaker of the country's internationally recognized parliament in Tobruk, told Sputnik Friday.
- Libya's Tobruk-Based Parliament to Offer New Roadmap on Political Settlement Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- The Tobruk-based Libyan parliament will soon offer a new roadmap on political settlement as it believes the UN-backed Presidential Council has failed to govern the country, Libyan Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh told Sputnik Friday.
- Libya to Return to Pre-Conflict Oil Output Levels by Mid-2017 Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- Libyan oil output will climb back to its normal levels by the middle of 2017, Aguila Saleh, the speaker of the country's internationally recognized parliament in Tobruk, told Sputnik Friday.
- Myanmar's handling of northern Rakhine lesson in how to make 'bad situation worse' - UN rights chief UN News 16 Dec 2016 -- Expressing concern over the situation in Myanmar's northern Rakhine, the top United Nations human rights official warned that the Government's "short-sighted, counterproductive, even callous" approach to the handling of the crisis could have grave long-term repercussions for the country and the region.
- Pakistan government failed to curb militancy: Court Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Pakistan's top court has ruled that the government has failed to curb militancy and extremism across the violence-wracked country.
- Settlement bill to have negative consequences for Israel: UN chief Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says Israel should reconsider its settlement bill or face the "negative legal consequences" of its approval.
- Israelis and Palestinians must 'rebuild trust in each other,' Ban tells Security Council UN News 16 Dec 2016 -- While the international community must spare no effort revive waning support for the long-sought two-state solution for Middle East peace, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the United Nations Security Council today that "ultimately, it is up to the Israelis and the Palestinians to make peace," and called on the two sides to "rebuild trust in each other."
- UN bans Gambian army chief from visiting Sudan Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations has banned the Gambia's army chief, General Ousman Badjie, from visiting Gambian troops serving as peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur region.
- Security Council adjusts mandate of UN mission in South Sudan to deter sexual violence, monitor hate speech UN News 16 Dec 2016 -- Approving a one-year extension of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the Security Council today demanded an end to the fighting in the war-riven country, and decided that the mission, known as UNMISS, shall "use all necessary means" to "deter and prevent" sexual violence within its capacity, and "monitor, investigate and report incidents of hate speech."
- UN Peacekeepers to Stay in South Sudan Through 2017 VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations Security Council has unanimously extended its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for another year.
- South Sudan opposition welcomes president's call for national dialogue Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- South Sudan's opposition has welcomed President Salva Kiir's call for "national dialogue" to put an end to three years of civil war.
- Possibility of genocide in South Sudan is 'all too real,' Ban warns in opinion piece UN News 16 Dec 2016 -- Given the scale of the disaster in South Sudan, the United Nations Security Council, regional organizations and the international community must step up to their responsibility to the help the country's people, who have suffered through three years of bloody conflict, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today in an opinion piece published by Newsweek.
- Pakistan says cross-border firing by Indian troops kills school bus driver Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Pakistan's officials say a Pakistani school bus driver was killed after Indian troops opened fire across the two countries' de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir.
- UN warns of 'power vacuum' in Colombia Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations has warned of a "power vacuum" in Colombia caused by the slow implementation of the November 24 peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
- 12 soldiers killed in militant attack on Burkina Faso army post Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Twelve Burkina Faso soldiers have been killed in an attack by dozens of unidentified assailants on a military post in Nassoumbou commune of the northwestern province of Soum.
- Russia-Japan peace deal remains elusive Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- The leaders of Russia and Japan have failed to reach a peace deal to formally end World War II hostilities between them following a meeting in the Japanese capital of Tokyo.
- No Breakthrough On Russia-Japan Islands Dispute RFE/RL 16 Dec 2016 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's trip to Japan has produced an agreement to hold talks on joint economic development of four islands claimed by both countries, but no breakthrough in the territorial dispute that dates back to World War II and beyond.
- UN refugee agency chief launches appeal to support thousands displaced in Lake Chad Basin UN News 16 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, launched today a multi-million dollar inter-agency appeal to provide support to nearly 500,000 people who have been affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, including those in Niger, Chad, and Cameroon, as well as Nigerian refugees.
- With Boko Haram on Backfoot, Cameroon, Nigeria Reopen Border VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- The border between Nigeria and Cameroon has been completely reopened for the first time in three years. It's a key sign of progress in the war against Boko Haram. Officials from the two countries met this week in Yaounde to review security issues.
- Nunes Statement on Cyber-Attack Investigations US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence 16 Dec 2016 -- House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes released the following statement today on the continuing investigations into cyber-attacks during the U.S. presidential campaign:
- US will retaliate against Russia over election meddling: Obama Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- US President Barack Obama has vowed to retaliate against Russia for its alleged meddling in America's election process, dramatically upping the ante in a dispute between Washington and Moscow.
- Give proof or end hacking accusations, Russia tells US Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Russia has rejected allegations by the United States government that Russia interfered in the recent presidential race in the US.
- White House backs claim Putin directed US election hack Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- The White House has suggested President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in a covert Russian mission to intervene in the 2016 US presidential election.
- Russia Challenges U.S. To Prove It Meddled In Election RFE/RL 16 Dec 2016 -- The Kremlin is challenging the United States to prove allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, saying that Washington should provide evidence or stay silent.
- US Senate to Probe Allegations of Russia Hacking in Presidential Election Sputnik 16 Dec 2016 -- The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will investigate charges that the Russian government sought to help President-elect Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, according to committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr.
- Obama: Told Russia to 'Cut It Out' on Hacking, Didn't See Further Tampering VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- President Barack Obama says after U.S. officials realized Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee email system, he told Russian President Vladimir Putin to "cut it out" during a G-20 meeting in China in September.
- Trump Nominates Controversial Figure as Ambassador to Israel VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has nominated a controversial figure to become the country's next ambassador to Israel.
- No country can be exception to One China principle: Chinese FM Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has lambasted US President-elect Donald Trump's recent remarks concerning Washington's possible backtrack on the so-called One China policy, stating that the principle forms the basis for mutual ties and no country can be an exception to it.
- 'Aleppo now synonym for hell,' Ban warns in final press conference as UN chief UN News 16 Dec 2016 -- In his last press conference as United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon today delivered stark warnings on two issues at the forefront of international concern: that "the carnage in Syria remains a gaping hole in the global conscience;" and that South Sudan faces a risk of genocide as the country leaders have "squandered a peace agreement."
- Dutch PM Confident Parliament Will Pass EU-Ukraine Association Agreement RFE/RL 16 Dec 2016 -- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he is confident parliament will approve a compromise he secured from other European Union leaders on an EU-Ukraine pact.
- South Korean president Park's impeachment was illegal: Lawyers Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- Lawyers for South Korea's suspended president Park Geun-hye say a parliament vote to impeach her has no legal foundation and the country's constitutional court should restore her powers.
- Retired Russian Military Officer Sentenced To 12 Years For Treason RFE/RL 16 Dec 2016 -- A Moscow court has sentenced a retired military officer to 12 years in prison after convicting him of treason, a charge that is usually linked to alleged espionage.
- Rewards for Justice - Increased Reward Offer for Information on ISIL Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi US Dept. of State 16 Dec 2016 -- Today, the U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program is increasing to $25 million its reward offer for information leading to the location, arrest, or conviction of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Ibrahim 'Awwad Ibrahim 'Ali al-Badri, also known as Abu Du'a.
- US Increases Reward on IS Leader to $25 Million VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- The United States has more than doubled – to $25 million – the reward for information leading to the capture of Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
- Authorities: IS Fighter in Syria Plots Terror in Indonesia VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- One of Indonesia's most wanted men is a computer geek skilled at bomb-making who joined the Islamic State in Syria, where police say he now directs terror attacks against his native land.
- Philippines: UN expert rejects Government-imposed conditions on fact-finding mission UN News 16 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on summary executions urged the Government of the Philippines to lift a series of preconditions it has imposed on her planned visit to investigate the alleged extra-judicial killings of suspected drug dealers, since President Rodrigo Duterte took office.
- Philippines not worried after US deferred aid package: Minister Press TV 16 Dec 2016 -- The Philippines says it could live with even less aid from the United States after Washington said it was halting a decision on a major aid package to Manila.
- UN rights chief urges Gambian leader to respect results of presidential election UN News 16 Dec 2016 -- The increased military presence deployed across Gambia since President Yayha Jammeh rejected the election result risks heightening the current climate of intimidation and harassment in the country, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned today.
- Zimbabwe's Mugabe Tries to Unite Fractious Party VOA 16 Dec 2016 -- Africa's oldest head of state, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, says he has no immediate plans to step down. In fact, on Friday the Zimbabwean leader said he was not happy with some members of his ruling ZANU-PF party who are calling for him to resign.
- Sudan: Closing Political Space and Media Crackdown US Dept. of State 16 Dec 2016
- DRC: Call for Calm and Respect for Human Rights US Dept. of State 16 Dec 2016
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