18 December 2016 Military News
- Military Strikes Continue Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq AFPS 18 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.
Defense Policy / Programs
- China to hand over underwater drone to U.S. in appropriate manner People's Daily 18 Dec 2016 -- Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said late Saturday that China has decided to hand over the U.S. underwater drone it captured in its waters to the United States in an appropriate manner.
- China Agrees To Return U.S. Naval Drone, Trump Says Beijing Can Keep It RFE/RL 18 Dec 2016 -- The Pentagon says it has "secured an understanding" with Beijing that it will return a U.S. Navy underwater drone seized in the South China Sea.
- China to return US drone: Pentagon Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- China has agreed to return a US underwater drone it seized in the South China Sea on Friday, the US Defense Department says.
- China Says It Will Return US Underwater Drone, Even as Trump Says 'Keep It' VOA 18 Dec 2016 -- China says it will hand over an underwater U.S. drone it seized in the international waters of the South China Sea, prompting President-elect Donald Trump to say the United States should tell China to keep the device.
- US Navy grounds all F/A-18, E/A-18 fighter jets Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- The US Navy has grounded all of its F/A-18 Super Hornet and E/A-18 Growler fighter jets after an incident that injured two over the weekend.
- Officials Express Condolences After Bomb Attack Kills Turkish Soldiers AFPS 18 Dec 2016 -- In the wake of a bomb attack yesterday that killed 13 Turkish soldiers traveling on weekend leave and injured dozens of others, U.S. defense officials expressed condolences and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Turkey and the battle against terrorism.
- Indonesian Air Force Plane Crashes in Papua Province Killing 13 People on Board Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- Indonesian air force Hercules C-130 aircraft crashed in country's Papua province on Sunday resulting in death of all 13 people on board, media reported.
- Indonesian Military Plane Crashes, Killing All 13 Aboard VOA 18 Dec 2016 -- An Indonesian military plane crashed into a mountain near Wamena, Papua, Sunday, killing all 13 people on board.
- UK extends training for Ukrainian troops to counter 'belligerent Russia' Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- The British government has announced that it is extending the ongoing training program for Ukrainian troops in the face of a "more belligerent Russia."
- UK to Keep Providing Military Training for Ukrainian Army Until 2018 Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- The United Kingdom will continue to provide training for the Ukrainian military until early 2018, according to UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon.
- Duterte Says US Forces Must Be Prepared to Leave Following Economic Aid Halt Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- The US forces must be prepared to leave Philippines as their presence in the country is not needed, President Rodrigo Duterte said. The statement comes in the wake of the US announcement to halt economic aid to Manila protesting Duterte's anti-drug policy.
- Saudi Arabia denies US limiting arms supplies Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has denied reports over the US limiting its military support to the kingdom over its war on Yemen, adding that Riyadh is actually waiting for smart bombs.
- North Korea's Military Capabilities are Better Than We Thought, Experts Warn Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- North Korea's weapons and military capabilities are more dangerous than previously thought, experts say, and the country is improving them across the board.
- Hi-Tech: North Korea Works on New Long Endurance Drones Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- North Korea is developing new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with enhanced surveillance and flight capabilities, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said Sunday.
- 'Every migrant is a human being with human rights,' says UN chief on International Day UN News 18 Dec 2016 -- Despite appearances and media spin, "migration does not have to be chaotic or seem like an invasion," and as yet another turbulent year for millions of people on the move comes to an end, the United Nations is marking International Migrants Day with a worldwide call for more cooperation and a resolute rejection of intolerance and policies driven by xenophobic rhetoric.
- 48 Yemeni Soldiers Killed in Suicide Bombing VOA 18 Dec 2016 -- A suicide bomber killed at least 48 Yemeni soldiers Sunday in the southern port city of Aden, as top Arab and Western diplomats met in neighboring Saudi Arabia to discuss the conflict in Yemen.
- Yemen struggling with wheat imports difficulties: UN Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- Yemen is struggling with the issue of wheat imports amid Saudi Arabia's ongoing campaign against the impoverished country, the UN says.
- Army soldiers, allies kill six Saudi mercenaries in southern Yemen Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have launched an operation against militiamen loyal to the resigned and Saudi-backed president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the country's southwestern province of Ta'izz, killing a number of them.
- Up to 52 Hadi loyalists killed as bomb attack hits Yemen's Aden Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- At least 52 forces loyal to Yemen's ex-president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, have been killed in a bomb attack in the country's southern port city of Aden.
- Syria Evacuation Buses Burnt As UN Security Council Set To Meet RFE/RL 18 Dec 2016 -- Syrian activists say at least five buses assigned to evacuate wounded and sick people in two northern villages have been burnt, threatening a wider deal to ship out thousands of civilians and rebel fighters still trapped in east Aleppo.
- UN Official Lambasts Jihadists for Imperiling Aleppo Evacuation VOA 18 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations humanitarian adviser for Syria, Jan Egeland, lashed out Sunday at al-Qaida-aligned rebel fighters for upending a fragile evacuation deal for civilians in Aleppo, labeling the jihadists as "reckless."
- Militant evacuations from east Aleppo resume: UN Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations says that the evacuation of militants and civilians from the eastern side of Syria's Aleppo has resumed.
- Russia says will not back French-proposed resolution on Aleppo Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- Russia says it does not support a UN Security Council resolution drafted by France that calls for the deployment of international observers to Syria's Aleppo to monitor the evacuation of civilians and protect those who remain.
- Buses arrive in eastern Aleppo to resume evacuations: Syrian media Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- Buses are entering the eastern neighborhoods in the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo to resume the evacuation of civilians and armed men from the formerly militant-held areas.
- Over 100k Iraqis displaced since Mosul operation began: IOM Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says over 100,000 people have been displaced amid an operation by Iraq's military and volunteer fighters to drive the Daesh Takfiri terrorists out of Mosul.
- Oxfam Fears Over a Million Civilians Still in Firing Line in Exodus From Mosul Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- The US-led coalition in Iraq needs to do more to establish safe routes out of Mosul for more than a million civilians still trapped there and stop shelling residential areas with heavy weapons, Kai Tabacek, Oxfam's digital press officer who works for the humanitarian organization in Mosul, told Sputnik on Sunday.
- Iraqi Shia Militiamen Win Trust in Some Sunni Villages, Face Tougher Tests Ahead VOA 18 Dec 2016 -- "When Iraqi forces closed in, IS (Islamic State) militants told us Shia soldiers would murder us and rape our women," said Fatehi Mohammad, a 64-year-old farmer in a remote desert village in Iraq's northwestern Nineveh province.
- UN urges national reconciliation in Libya Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations has urged the people of Libya to work for "national reconciliation" in the wake of an end to operations for the liberation of Sirte from the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
- Libya officially declares liberation of Sirte from Daesh Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has officially announced the end of military operations in the city of Sirte following the recent liberation of the coastal city from the grips of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
- Rights group wants ASEAN countries to act on Rohingya plight Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged countries from the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) to make strong efforts at an emergency meeting of the group to resolve the ongoing Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.
- 11 gunmen killed in clashes with police in Russia's Chechnya Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- Security forces in the Russian region of Chechnya have clashed with suspected militants, killing at least 11 gunmen.
- Chechen Leader: 11 Militants Killed In Clashes Near Grozny RFE/RL 18 Dec 2016 -- The leader of Russia's troubled Chechnya region says security forces have killed 11 suspected militants in two clashes near the capital, Grozny.
- Five Militants Killed in Special Operation in Grozny - Chechen Republic Leader Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- Chechen Republic Leader Ramzan Kadyrov said that five militants responsible for a recent armed attack on police in the suburbs of the Grozny city were eliminated.
- Ukraine: Five Troops Killed In Clashes With Separatists RFE/RL 18 Dec 2016 -- Ukraine says five of its troops have been killed in clashes with pro-Russian separatists, in some of the worst fighting to hit the eastern Donbas region in months.
- 14 Dead in Jordan Shooting Attacks VOA 18 Dec 2016 -- Authorities in Jordan say security forces have freed foreign tourists trapped inside a medieval castle in the central city of Karak, following attacks Sunday by gunmen that left at least 14 people dead. At least 22 others, including civilians and police, were reported wounded.
- Militant attack kills 10, injures 27 in central Jordan Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- At least ten people, including a Canadian woman, have lost their lives when unidentified armed men attacked a police station and patrols in Jordan's central province of Karak, and opened fire.
- After Historic Peace Deal, FARC Takes First Step Toward Becoming Political Party Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- Less than a month after a historic peace deal between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ended more than 50 years of conflict, the FARC has taken a crucial first step toward official political recognition.
- FBI did not notify Podesta of Russian hacking before WikiLeaks entered the game Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- John Podesta, the campaign chairman of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, says he was never notified by the FBI of the Russian hacking until shortly after the WikiLeaks started releasing his emails.
- Key U.S. Senator Calls For Single Committee To Probe Russian Hacking RFE/RL 18 Dec 2016 -- An influential Republican senator has called for a single, unified committee to investigate the depth of possible Russian hacking during the U.S. election campaign.
- Washington Lacks Consensus on Russian Hacking VOA 18 Dec 2016 -- Washington continues to speak with a cacophony of voices on Russian meddling in last month's U.S. presidential election, displaying a lack of consensus during the ongoing presidential transition period that could impact how America ultimately responds to the cyberattacks.
- Venezuela delays removing currency bills amid chaos Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- The Venezuelan government has delayed plans for the elimination of the country's most-widely-used bill following nationwide protests and chaos.
- Venezuela Delays 100-Bolivar Note Withdrawal Amid Reported Currency Sabotage Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced a delay in the withdrawal of 100-bolivar currency notes from circulation.
- Chinese aircraft avoided Taiwan's air defense zone: MND CNA 18 Dec 2016 -- Chinese military aircraft have circled Taiwan twice in the past four weeks but did not enter the country's air air defense identification zone (ADIZ), a defense ministry spokesman said after the People's Liberation Army posted a photo of the aircraft.
- Trump, Obama statements on China benefit Taiwan: scholar CNA 18 Dec 2016 -- Recent comments on relations between the United States, China and Taiwan by U.S. President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump's questioning of the one-China policy have created a favorable situation for Taiwan, a Taiwanese scholar said Sunday.
- Amano confirms Iran commitment to nuclear deal ISNA 18 Dec 2016 -- Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano met with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani upon his arrival in Tehran.
- Iran says satisfied with IAEA performance ISNA 18 Dec 2016 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said the country considers renewal of U.S. sanctions a clear violation of nuclear deal.
- IAEA satisfied by Iran commitment to nuclear deal: Amano Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- During a visit to Tehran, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has expressed satisfaction with Iran's commitment to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear accord with world powers.
- Rouhani: Extension of US Sanctions Against Iran Violates Nuclear Deal Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani stated that the path that the US has taken in regard to Iran will lead to a considerable drop in international trust in the American government.
- Iran Says It Wants UN Help to Build Nuclear-powered Vessels VOA 18 Dec 2016 -- Iran is asking the International Atomic Energy Agency for advice and assistance in developing a fleet of nuclear-powered ships.
- Confidante of S Korean president awaiting trial over graft charges Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- The trial into the case of a confidante of South Korean President Park Geun-hye will open over a corruption scandal that has rocked the government.
- S Korean Probe Team to Launch Independent Inquiry Into Park Corruption Scandal Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- South Korea's independent probe team will launch a full-fledged investigation into the corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her "secret adviser" Choi Soon-sil, according to Yonhap.
- South Korean President's Team Says Impeachment Procedures Lack Legal Grounds Sputnik 18 Dec 2016 -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye's representatives claimed impeachment procedures against her were illegal and lacked sufficient evidence of wrongdoing.
- South Korea Leader's Supporters, Opponents Clash in Seoul Rallies VOA 18 Dec 2016 -- Tensions were high as supporters of impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye and opponents of Park, who had gathered in much larger numbers, rallied in Seoul on Saturday.
- Lebanon announces forming of new cabinet Press TV 18 Dec 2016 -- Lebanon has announced forming a new 30-minster cabinet led by Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.
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