17 December 2016 Military News
- Inherent Resolve Strikes Target ISIL in Syria, Iraq AFPS 17 Dec 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.
- Afghan Villagers Freed From IS Control Join Security Forces VOA 17 Dec 2016 -- Grateful residents of eastern Afghanistan whose villages were freed from control by Islamic State militants have begun enlisting for service with the Afghan National Security Forces and provincial police, local authorities say.
Defense Policy / Programs
- China: 'Appropriately Handling' Return of US Drone VOA 17 Dec 2016 -- China accused the U.S. Friday of "hyping up" the Chinese navy's seizure of a U.S. naval underwater drone from international waters in the South China Sea while the two countries' militaries are in contact to "appropriately handle" the situation.
- China Decides to Return US Underwater Drone Captured in South China Sea Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- China decided to return a US underwater drone it captured in the South China Sea to the United States, the Chinese Defense Ministry said Saturday.
- Chinese Defense Ministry Slams 'Fuss' Over Seizure of US Underwater Drone Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- The "fuss" made by the United States over an earlier seizure of an unmanned US oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea by the Chinese warship is unacceptable and does not contribute to the solution of the problem, the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement Saturday.
- China: Sea drone to be returned after US origin verified Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- China says its seizure of a US Navy underwater drone was carried out to ensure the "safe navigation of passing ships" in the South China Sea.
- US reaction to drone incident not conducive to resolution: China Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- China has accused the United States of "hyping up" a recent incident in which an American underwater drone was captured by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea.
- US demands China return 'seized' underwater drone Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- The US Defense Department has demanded that China return an underwater drone that was "unlawfully seized" in the South China Sea, an episode that threatens to increase tensions between Washington and Beijing in the disputed waters.
- China Says Pentagon 'Hyping Up' Its Seizure Of U.S. Naval Probe RFE/RL 17 Dec 2016 -- China's Defense Ministry has accused the United States of "hyping up" its seizure of a U.S. naval probe, saying that Beijing is "strongly opposed" to U.S. reconnaissance operations in the South China Sea.
- The evolution of the combat RPA AFNS 17 Dec 2016 -- In the 1980s, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency added modern-day technology to the decades old idea of using remotely piloted aircraft for reconnaissance purposes.
- Russian Hypersonic Aircraft to Break Through Missile Defense Systems Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- Russian scientists are working on hypersonic aircraft that will be able to penetrate enemy missile defense, RIA Novosti wrote, citing Boris Satovsky, a project director at the military research agency Future Research Fund in Moscow.
- Duterte threatens to cancel US troops visiting deal Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says "bye-bye America" while threatening to halt an agreement with Washington over US troops visiting his country.
- Azerbaijan to Purchase Israeli Iron Dome Air Defense System Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- Baku and Tel Aviv had signed an agreement on procurement of the Israeli Iron Dome air defense system, Azerbaijani Defense Industry Minister Yavar Jamalov said on Saturday.
- Azerbaijan May Launch Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons Production Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- Azerbaijan is planning to launch a production of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons for radio-electronic warfare, Azerbaijani Defense Industry Minister Yavar Jamalov said Saturday.
- Evacuation Operation in Aleppo Really Separated Rebels From Terrorists Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- The Russian Defense Ministry said that the operation to evacuate militants from Aleppo has really separated so-called Syrian "moderate" rebels from terrorists after the US failed to do so.
- Syrian Army Repels Massive Daesh Attack on T4 Base Near Palmyra Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- Syrian army units and loyal militias stationed at the Tiyas T4 airbase to the west of Palmyra have repelled a massive attack by Daesh militants, a militia source said Saturday.
- Obama: Russia, Iran, Syria Have 'Blood On Hands' In Aleppo RFE/RL 17 Dec 2016 -- U.S. President Barack Obama charged that Russia, Iran, and Syria have "blood on their hands" from their brutal takeover of Aleppo even as he lamented being unable to stop the bloodshed in Syria despite years of effort.
- Aleppo Evacuation to Resume VOA 17 Dec 2016 -- An agreement was reached Saturday to resume the evacuation of Syria's eastern Aleppo, though hours later, the evacuation hasn't started and rebels and civilians are still waiting.
- Russia Aleppo operations separated so-called moderates from terrorists Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- Russian operations in Syria's Aleppo allowed for the "genuine" separation of the so-called moderate opposition and terrorists, says Russia's Defense Ministry.
- Iran, Russia defense ministers urge firm fight against terrorism in Syria Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- The defense ministers of Iran and Russia have stressed the importance of proceeding with a firm fight against terrorism in Syria, following the liberation of the strategic city of Aleppo from the foreign-backed militants.
- Deal reached to resume Aleppo evacuations: Reports Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- A new deal has reportedly been reached between the Syrian government and the militants in the city of Aleppo to resume the evacuations of civilians and the remaining armed groups from the east of the city, after an earlier halt in the evacuation operations.
- Comprehensive ceasefire, peace talks sole way out of Syria crisis: Russia Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- Russia says a political settlement based on the resumption of "inclusive inter-Syrian" negotiations and enforcing an "all-encompassing ceasefire" is the sole solution to the years-long conflict in the Arab country.
- Daesh car bombings leave 18 civilians dead in eastern Mosul Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- At least eighteen civilians have lost their lives when Daesh Takfiri terrorists launched two separate car bomb attacks in Mosul as Iraqi government forces and allied fighters are engaged in massive operations to drive the extremists out of the strategic northern city.
- Liberation of Tripoli Major Goal of Libyan National Army Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- The Libyan National Army (LNA) has prepared to launch an offensive against Tripoli where the main forces of Islamic extremists are currently concentrated, LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari told Sputnik. The LNA spokesman underscored that only Libyans themselves can bring an end to the ongoing crisis.
- Political accord's slow implementation has not brought peace and stability Libyans deserve - Ban UN News 17 Dec 2016 -- Marking the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today commended all Libyans who engaged in the "milestone" process, but cautioned that while much progress has been made, "the road to peace is long" and the Libyan people have not yet achieved the stability and security they deserve.
- Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Bombing in Turkey DoD 17 Dec 2016
- Fifteen Detained Over Suicide Bombing In Turkey, PKK Blamed RFE/RL 17 Dec 2016 -- Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu says 15 people have been taken into custody in connection with a car-bomb attack in the central city of Kayseri that killed 14 Turkish soldiers and wounded 55 other people.
- Blast Hits Bus in Turkey, Kills 13 Soldiers VOA 17 Dec 2016 -- At least 13 Turkish soldiers were killed Saturday and dozens more were wounded when a suicide car bomb exploded next to a bus carrying off-duty military personnel near the entrance of a university in the central Turkish city of Kayseri, officials said.
- Russia says ready to cooperate with Turkey against terror Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- The Russia president says Moscow is ready to cooperate with Ankara in the fight against terrorism following a bomb attack in central Turkey that killed over a dozen Turkish soldiers.
- UN blasts increase in arbitrary detention of Palestinian activists Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations has denounced daily violations of human rights and international law by the Israeli regime in the occupied Palestinian territories, warning of an increase in the arbitrary detention of Palestinian rights activists.
- Three soldiers killed as Indian army convoy ambushed in Kashmir Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- Three Indian soldiers have been killed when a military convoy came under attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
- Al-Shabab Kills Two Government Soldiers in Somalia's Mahaday District VOA 17 Dec 2016 -- Heavily armed al-Shabab fighters in pickup trucks moved into Somalia's Mahaday district in the Middle Shabelle region early Saturday, killing two government soldiers before voluntarily withdrawing, residents and officials said.
- South Sudan on Brink of 'Rwanda-like' Genocide, UN Warns Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- Human rights organizations, genocide watch groups and the UN secretary-general are warning of a potential genocide in South Sudan, the world's youngest country, and asking the UN Security Council and regional leaders to take action.
- Armenia Violates Ceasefire in Karabakh 26 Times Over Last 24 Hours – Military Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, the Armenian forces has violated the truce in Nagorno-Karabakh 26 times over the past 24 hours.
- U.S. Electoral College Faces Sharp Scrutiny Ahead Of Trump's Formal Endorsement RFE/RL 17 Dec 2016 -- Often misunderstood and frequently maligned, the U.S. Electoral College is typically an institution that goes about its work every four years with little fanfare and even less scrutiny.
- US electors won't get intelligence briefing on Russian 'hack': Report Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- US Electoral College electors will not receive an intelligence briefing about alleged Russian interference in the November 8 presidential election, a new report says.
- FBI now backs CIA assessment on Russia election hack: Report Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- The FBI finally agrees with a CIA assessment that Russia deliberately intervened in the US presidential election through cyber operations to help Donald Trump win the White House.
- President Obama says everyone worse off if US-China ties break People's Daily 17 Dec 2016 -- US President Barack Obama said on Friday no other bilateral relationship carries more significance than US-China relationship, and if the US-China relation breaks down, everyone becomes worse off.
- China pledges stability, reform in 2017 as key economic meeting ends People's Daily 17 Dec 2016 -- China on Friday made stability as the basic tone for next year's economic planning, pledging to push for "substantial progress" in supply-side structural reform in 2017, as a key annual conference concluded.
- ROC is a sovereign country, committed to cross-strait peace: MAC CNA 17 Dec 2016 -- The Republic of China (Taiwan) is a sovereign country committed to promoting peaceful and stable relations with mainland China, Taiwan's top China policy planner said Saturday, in response to comments by U.S. President Barack Obama on the U.S.-China-Taiwan triangular relationship.
- Full text of Obama comments on China, Taiwan CNA 17 Dec 2016 -- President Barak Obama on Friday gave one of his most elaborate comments to date on U.S. relations with China and Taiwan, saying the status quo, although not completely satisfactory, "has kept the peace and allowed the Taiwanese to be a pretty successful economy and a people who have a high degree of self-determination."
- Presidential Office thanks Obama administration for deepening ties CNA 17 Dec 2016 -- Taiwan's Presidential Office on Saturday thanked the U.S. government for deepening U.S.-Taiwan relations and said it hopes to further strengthen ties with the incoming administration under President Donald Trump.
- Iran's Plan for Nuclear Powered Navy is Response to 'US Violating the Deal' Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- In mid-December, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to start developing nuclear power units for ships, in response to a possible violation by the United States of the Iran nuclear deal.
- Iran Claims US Violated Nuclear Deal, Requests Review VOA 17 Dec 2016 -- Iran has asked for an emergency meeting with the six-nation commission that agreed in 2015 to end crippling economic sanctions against Tehran so that it can hear complaints about the extension of some U.S. penalties despite the accord.
- Iran FM urges JCPOA joint commission meeting over US sanctions extension Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran and the P5+1 group of countries need to hold a joint commission meeting to discuss the recent US move to renew the Iran Sanctions Act in violation of the nuclear agreement between Tehran and the six states.
- Iran Claims U.S. Violated Nuclear Deal, Requests EU Review RFE/RL 17 Dec 2016 -- Reports from Tehran say Iran has requested a meeting of a commission that oversees the implementation of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in response to Tehran's claims that the United States has violated the agreement.
- Massive pro-, anti-Park protests held in S Korean capital Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- Massive crowds of protesters have converged on the streets of the South Korean capital Seoul for the eighth straight week demanding the swift ouster of the country's president amid a counter-rally by her supporters.
- Turkey arrests over 50 top officers amid crackdown after mid-July coup attempt Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- Turkish authorities have detained more than 50 high-ranking officers as the Ankara government escalates its wide-ranging crackdown against people allegedly linked to US-based Muslim preacher and opposition figure Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of having masterminded the failed July 15 coup.
- FBI Met With Poroshenko Accuser; No Further Talks Planned RFE/RL 17 Dec 2016 -- The U.S. Justice Department has cut ties with a fugitive Ukrainian member of parliament who said he had turned over damning evidence proving the corruption of Ukraine's president, a spokesman told RFE/RL on December 16.
- DRC Opposition Leaders Meet as President Kabila's Final Term Nears End VOA 17 Dec 2016 -- A leading member of an opposition party coalition known as the "Rassemblement" is urging the Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila to reach an agreement with the group and step down to allow a smooth transition. President Kabila's official second and final term expires on December 19.
- Silencing opposition is 'not the solution,' UN rights chief says as Internet blackout looms in DR Congo UN News 17 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations human rights chief today said he is "deeply alarmed" at a planned Government shutdown of social media in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from Sunday evening, ahead of the end of President Joseph Kabila's mandate, coupled with a continuing ban on demonstrations by civil society and the opposition.
- Mugabe to Stand in Zimbabwe 2018 Elections VOA 17 Dec 2016 -- Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, Saturday was declared the ruling party's candidate for the 2018 elections.
- Zimbabwe's Mugabe endorsed for 2018 presidential election Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- Zimbabwe's ruling party, ZANU-PF, has endorsed President Robert Mugabe as its candidate for the upcoming presidential election.
- ECOWAS urges swift resolution of Gambia impasse Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for a swift resolution of the political impasse in the Gambia.
- Protests, looting erupt in Venezuela amid new cash crisis Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- Scattered protests and looting have been reported across Venezuela after its president announced the replacement of the most widely used bill with higher-denomination banknotes before they had even arrived.
- Rwanda's opposition leader to run for president in 2017 Press TV 17 Dec 2016 -- The leader of Rwanda's sole government-recognized opposition party has announced plans for standing as a candidate in next year's presidential election.
- Russia Rejects Belarus Advance Gas Payment Amid Debt Row - Deputy PM Sputnik 17 Dec 2016 -- Russia still believes that Belarus will pay its gas debts to Russia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Saturday.
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