24 December 2016 Military News
- Strikes Hit ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq AFPS 24 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 Security Forces 'Kill 30 Militants' In Raids RFE/RL 24 Dec 2016 -- Afghanistan's Defense Ministry says that security forces have carried out nine military operations across the country over the past 24 hours, killing at least 30 militants.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Obama Signs US Defense Budget for 2017 Sputnik 24 Dec 2016 -- Outgoing President Barack Obama has signed into law the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to set the budget for the US Department of Defense, the White House announced in a release.
- Obama signs 'disappointing' $619 billion Pentagon budget Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- US President Barack Obama has signed into law a massive $619 billion military spending bill for next year.
- Wasp Amphibious Ready Group Completes Deployment NNS 24 Dec 2016 -- More than 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed a six-month deployment when the ships arrived at Norfolk Naval Station and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Dec. 24.
- Russian Armata Tanks, Armored Vehicles to Become 'Smarter' Sputnik 24 Dec 2016 -- Russian tanks and combat vehicles will soon sport a state-of-the-art damage control and information system, the newspaper Izvestia reported.
- Obama signs legislation backing military exchanges with Taiwan CNA 24 Dec 2016 -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2017, which included for the first time a section on senior military exchanges with Taiwan.
- President visits Air Force Combatant Command CNA 24 Dec 2016 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited the Air Force Combatant Command Friday to review the Air Force's training and exercise operations, the Presidential Office said in a statement Saturday.
- Beijing Sends 'Clear Signal' for US to Stick to 'One-China' Policy Sputnik 24 Dec 2016 -- With Donald Trump's inauguration now less than a month away, China reiterates the importance of honoring "key interests' in bilateral ties, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. In an interview with Sputnik China, political analyst Andrei Korneyev commented on the significance of Mr. Yi's statement for relations between China and the US.
- China's aircraft carrier formation holds training, tests People's Daily 24 Dec 2016 -- A naval formation consisting of aircraft carrier Liaoning, several destroyers and frigates was on training and testing missions last week, military sources said on Saturday.
- IRGC commander stresses role of security in progress of country IRNA 24 Dec 2016 -- Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari has described 'security' as the first and most essential element in achievement of progess and growth.
- Record-high defense budget causes concern over Japan's future People's Daily 24 Dec 2016 -- On Dec. 22, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet approved a record-high budget of 5.13 trillion yen ($43.6 billion) for defense spending in 2017, up 1.4 percent from 2016. The hike has caused widespread concern among both media and the Japanese people.
- Polish Defense Ministry Drafts Reform of Armed Forces' Command Structure Sputnik 24 Dec 2016 -- Poland's Defense Ministry worked out a reform project of the armed forces leadership, the ministry said Saturday.
- Pakistan Defense Minister Tweets Threat to Israel in Response to Fake News Story Sputnik 24 Dec 2016 -- Defense Minister of Pakistan Khawaja Muhammad Asif started a Twitter tiff with Israel in response to a fake news article that said Israel threatened retaliation if Pakistan got involved in Syria.
- China Reportedly Aims to Send More Missiles to Disputed South China Sea Islands Sputnik 24 Dec 2016 -- Beijing intends to deploy more surface-to-air missiles to the disputed islands in the South China Sea, US media reported on Friday.
- Saudi airstrikes kill nine Yemeni kids, women Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- Nine Yemeni civilians, all of them women and children, have been killed and several others injured in a Saudi airstrike on a residential area in Yemen's southwestern province of Ibb.
- Syria reinforces Homs push after Aleppo win Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- The Syrian military, in high spirits after liberating Syria's second city of Aleppo from militants, has stepped up its counterterrorism push in Homs Province farther to the south.
- Putin, Assad Say Aleppo Takeover Makes Conditions Ripe For Peace RFE/RL 24 Dec 2016 -- The presidents of Russia and Syria expressed satisfaction with the government takeover of Aleppo on December 23 and said it has made conditions ripe for a broader peace deal in the war-torn nation.
- Turkish Military: Rebels, Airstrikes Kill Nearly 70 Militants in Northern Syria VOA 24 Dec 2016 -- Turkey said Saturday that its warplanes had killed 68 Islamic State militants 20 kilometers northeast of Aleppo, Syria, as pitched battles raged in al-Bab between extremist fighters and rebels supported by Turkish forces.
- Bombings, mortar attacks claim 10 lives across Iraq Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- Police and medical officials in Iraq say at least ten people have been killed in a series of bombings and mortar strikes across the country as government forces and allied fighters press ahead with a massive operation to flush Daesh Takfiri terrorists out of the northern city of Mosul.
- Netanyahu Takes Diplomatic Action Against Sponsors of UN Resolution VOA 24 Dec 2016 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is taking diplomatic action against countries that co-sponsored the U.N. Security Council resolution against the buildup of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as a capitol for a future state.
- Reaction to US Vote at UN Security Council is Swift, Mixed VOA 24 Dec 2016 -- The United States abstained from voting Friday at the U.N. Security Council on a resolution calling for Israel to stop its "settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory." The abstention opened the way for the other 14 members of the council to unanimously pass the resolution to a round of applause in the chamber.
- Netanyahu responsible for UN rebuke of Israel: Obama admin. Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- US Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes has told the whining Israeli prime minister that only he is responsible for Washington's decision to allow the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that condemned Israel for illegal settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- Pro-Russia forces say will respect 'indefinite' truce with Kiev Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- Pro-Russia forces have reportedly agreed to abide by a ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Kiev, which is aimed at stopping violence in eastern Ukraine ahead of the Christmas and New York holidays.
- Amid renewed violence in Somalia's Gaalkacyo, UN envoy urges respect for ceasefire agreement UN News 24 Dec 2016 -- Expressing concern over renewed violence in the Somali city of Gaalkacyo, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for the country, Michael Keating, has called on all parties to honor the ceasefire agreement.
- Nigerian army lands crushing blow on Boko Haram: President Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says government troops have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group by capturing the group's last stronghold in the country's northeast.
- Obama Expands Magnitsky Act Globally Sputnik 24 Dec 2016 -- Outgoing US President Barack Obama has signed into law the annual defense policy bill to set the 2017 budget for the Department of Defense in which he expanded the use of the Magnitsky Act.
- Iran, P5+1 publish restricted documents of JCPOA Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- Iran and the P5+1 group of countries have released some previously restricted documents about the nuclear agreement they signed last year to support the argument that Tehran is not exceeding the limits imposed on its stockpile of enriched uranium.
- Iran, P5+1 to meet in January over US bans renewal Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- A high-level commission monitoring the implementation of last year's nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers plans to meet in Vienna on January 10 to discuss the recent move by the United States to renew the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA).
- Iran, World Powers Release Restricted Nuclear Documents RFE/RL 24 Dec 2016 -- Iran and the six world powers that negotiated the 2015 landmark nuclear deal have released previously restricted documents in a bid to dispel suspicions that Tehran is cheating on the deal.
- North Korea Defiant as Rivals Undergo Uncertain Change VOA 24 Dec 2016 -- Undeterred by international rebukes and increased sanctions in 2016, North Korea set forth to advance and legitimize its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, but then paused suddenly, most likely to assess unexpected political changes underway in the United States and South Korea.
- Xi meets Hong Kong SAR chief executive People's Daily 24 Dec 2016 -- President Xi Jinping met with Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying Friday.
- No political preconditions for cross-strait exchanges: MAC CNA 24 Dec 2016 -- Setting political preconditions for exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is not conducive to a normal and healthy development of cross-strait relations, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Saturday.
- Tunisia Arrests Three People 'Connected' To Berlin Truck Attack Suspect RFE/RL 24 Dec 2016 -- Tunisian authorities say they have arrested the nephew of the slain Berlin truck attack suspect, Anis Amri, and two others suspected of belonging to the same extremist network.
- Tunisia Arrests Nephew, 2 Others Connected to Slain Suspected Berlin Attacker VOA 24 Dec 2016 -- Authorities in Tunisia have arrested the nephew of suspected Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri, along with two other Islamist militant suspects said to be "connected" to Amri, the interior ministry said Saturday.
- Fears Growing Islamic State Successfully Weaponizing Refugees VOA 24 Dec 2016 -- Western security officials are increasingly worried that the Islamic State terror group may be a step ahead of their renewed efforts to stop terrorist infiltration of their countries.
- Opposing Congo parties near deal on power transition Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- Political parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo have stopped negotiations before finalizing a power transition agreement, under which President Joseph Kabila will leave office next year.
- Catalonia parties, unions hold summit on planned independence vote Press TV 24 Dec 2016 -- Representatives of Catalonia's pro-independence civil, cultural and political organizations have come together in a Barcelona summit to discuss preparations for a referendum next year on separation from mainland Spain.
- Rise Of Antiestablishment Parties Reshapes Western Politics RFE/RL 24 Dec 2016 -- Across the West, a wave of antiestablishment feeling is challenging a political order built on the idea that open borders and open trade are the key to prosperity.
- Dodon Sworn In As Moldova's President Promising Unity And Neutrality RFE/RL 24 Dec 2016 -- Igor Dodon was sworn in as Moldova's new president on December 23, calling for unity in the divided country and pledging to maintain Moldova's neutrality.
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