31 December 2016 Military News
- Military Strikes Target ISIL in Syria, Iraq AFPS 31 Dec 2016 -- U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Iraq and Syria yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
- Pakistan Military Chief Tells Afghan Leaders He'll Work for Peace VOA 31 Dec 2016 -- Pakistan's new military chief spoke to Afghan leaders Saturday and promised to work for regional peace as mutual mistrust and suspicion continued to plague bilateral ties in the outgoing year.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Philippines to Move Military Drills With US From S China Sea to Please Beijing Sputnik 31 Dec 2016 -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked his defense chief to move the site of a joint naval drill with the United States away from the disputed South China Sea, Reuters reported citing a pertinent statement issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
- Pakistan Plays Down Defense-Related US Sanctions VOA 31 Dec 2016 -- Pakistan says that the United States did not share evidence of wrongdoing before placing recent sanctions against certain defense-related Pakistani entities, but that it has pledged to work with Washington to address all concerns.
- Rouhani: Iran welcomes sustainable ceasefire in Syria IRNA 31 Dec 2016 -- President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Tehran welcomes sustainable ceasefire in Syria and warned all parties to exercise vigilance to prevent terrorists reorganize themselves.
- Iran, Russia presidents reaffirm fight against terrorism, welcome Syrian truce IRNA 31 Dec 2016 -- Presidents of Iran and Russia welcomed the Syrian ceasefire, reaffirming commitment to international campaign against terrorism and terrorist groups, including Daesh and al-Nusra Front.
- Russia's UN envoy calls on UNSC not to discredit ceasefire Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin has called on his UNSC colleagues not to complicate the situation Syrian and not to discredit a ceasefire proposed by Russia and Turkey.
- UN Security Council adopts resolution supporting Syria ceasefire agreement Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted a resolution endorsing a ceasefire agreement in Syria, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey.
- Iran's president warns of bids to boost terrorists during Syria truce Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic welcomes Syria's nationwide ceasefire, but warned against the strengthening of terrorists during the truce time in the Arab country.
- Daesh cuts off water supply to Syria's Aleppo Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- Takfiri Daesh terrorists in Syria have cut off the water supply from two pumping stations on the Euphrates to the east of the city of Aleppo, which was recently liberated from militants.
- Kremlin: Putin, Iranian President Agree To Coordinate Closely On Syria RFE/RL 31 Dec 2016 -- The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rohani agreed in a December 31 telephone call to coordinate closely on bringing an end to the war in Syria.
- UN Security Council Adopts Syria Resolution Backing Russian-Turkish Peace Plan RFE/RL 31 Dec 2016 -- The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution supporting a cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey and a bid to kick-start peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition.
- UNSC Unanimously Adopts Russia-Backed Draft Resolution on Syrian Ceasefire Sputnik 31 Dec 2016 -- The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously adopted a draft resolution submitted by Russia and Turkey on a comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis, including the ceasefire regime and political talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups in Astana, Kazakhstan in January 2017.
- Turkish Armed Forces Kill 23 Daesh Militants, Destroy 172 Targets in N.Syria Sputnik 31 Dec 2016 -- Turkish Armed Forces have eliminated 23 Daesh militants and destroyed 172 Daesh targets over the past 24 hours as part of the Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria, local media reported Saturday, citing a statement by the Turkish military.
- Kurdish-Led Forces Started Operation to Liberate Syrian Town Mahmudli From Daesh Sputnik 31 Dec 2016 -- Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces on Friday launched an operation to liberate the Syrian town of Mahmudli.
- Syria: Security Council unites in support of Russia-Turkey efforts to end violence and jumpstart political process UN News 31 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution welcoming and supporting the efforts by Russia and Turkey to end violence in Syria and jumpstart a political process for the war-torn Middle Eastern country.
- Airstrikes Ongoing Despite UN Endorsement of Syrian Cease-fire VOA 31 Dec 2016 -- The U.N. Security Council on Saturday unanimously endorsed the cease-fire in Syria brokered by Russia and Turkey, but reports from the war zone said the truce was at risk.
- Iraqi top comdr. rejects presence of US forces in Mosul liberation operation IRNA 31 Dec 2016 -- An Iraqi top commander on Saturday rejected speculation spread by certain media outlets about alleged presence of US troops in Mosul liberation operation.
- Iraqi forces free Mosul neighborhood on day 3 of renewed push Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- Iraqi security forces have freed a neighborhood of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on the third day of a renewed push to liberate the city from Daesh.
- Dozens Killed In Baghdad Blasts Claimed By Islamic State RFE/RL 31 Dec 2016 -- Twin suicide bombings at a market area in central Baghdad killed at least 28 people and wounded dozens of others on December 31, officials and medics said.
- Cyprus urges Turkey's seriousness in reunification talks Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has called on Turkey to face up to its commitments regarding the reunification of the Mediterranean island when crucial peace talks resume next month in Switzerland.
- Kill, slaughter, kidnap infidels, Boko Haram leader says Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- The ringleader of the Nigeria-based Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group has urged the militants to beef up extreme violence against people, denying recent claims by the government that the group has been crushed.
- Boko Haram Says All Well After Raid, Tells Followers to 'Slaughter and Abduct' Sputnik 31 Dec 2016 -- Despite last week's statement by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari that Boko Haram was "on the run" with no place to hide, the terrorist's group leader has issued a new video statement saying he is "well and alive" and that "the battle is just beginning."
- Armed attack on Istanbul nightclub kills 39, injures 69: Interior minister Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- At least 39 people are dead and 69 others have been wounded in an armed attack on a nightclub in Turkey's Istanbul, the interior minister says.
- Istanbul Governor: 35 People Killed in Nightclub Attack VOA 31 Dec 2016 -- Thirty-five people were killed and dozens more were wounded early Sunday in an attack on an Istanbul nightclub packed with New Year's revelers, the city's governor said.
- McCain says Russian cyber attacks against US an 'act of war' Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- Senior US Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain says Russia's alleged cyber attacks against political organizations to influence the 2016 presidential election amounted to an "act of war."
- Russian operation hacked Vermont utility, US officials say Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- US officials say malicious software tied to a Russian hacking group associated with attempts to influence the presidential election was found within a computer that belongs to an electric utility company in Burlington, Vermont.
- U.S. Electric Utility Reports Malware Said To Be Planted By Russian Hackers RFE/RL 31 Dec 2016 -- A Vermont electric utility said it found on one of its laptop computers a malware code the U.S. government says is used by Russian hackers.
- US Lawmaker: Utility's Malware Discovery Points to 'Rampant Russian Hacking' VOA 31 Dec 2016 -- A U.S. congressman from Vermont said Saturday that Russian malware code found in a computer belonging to a major state electric utility was further evidence of "rampant Russian hacking."
- President Tsai Ing-wen's full remarks at year-end press conference CNA 31 Dec 2016 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday briefed both local and international reporters about her administration's work since assuming office on May 20 and their future direction.
- Taiwan faces uncertain international situation in 2017: president CNA 31 Dec 2016 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on Saturday that Taiwan faces a more uncertain international situation in the first half of 2017, but assured the people of Taiwan that the nation has the strength needed to deal with such challenges.
- President outlines government priorities for 2017 CNA 31 Dec 2016 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Saturday that the government's work will focus on four key areas in 2017, the first of which is boosting Taiwan's slow economy.
- President calls for benign cross-strait relations CNA 31 Dec 2016 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday urged both sides of the Taiwan Strait to maintain peaceful relations, vowing that the Republic of China (Taiwan) will continue to commit to having positive exchanges with China and extending goodwill but will not succumb to pressure and threats.
- China mulls measures against Taiwan: Sources Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- Senior Chinese military officers say the country's army is considering strong measures to prevent Taiwan from moving toward independence as warming relations between the self-ruled island and the US raise concerns in Beijing.
- Xi urges political advisors to offer more advice on state affairs People's Daily 31 Dec 2016 -- President Xi Jinping on Friday called on political advisors to conscientiously perform their duties in 2017 and give more advice and suggestions on state affairs.
- Indian's Modi Announces Series of Incentives for Poor and Farmers VOA 31 Dec 2016 -- Asserting that his crackdown against corruption will not end, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a series of financial incentives for poor people, farmers, small businesses, women and senior citizens.
- Portugal set to extradite CIA operative to Italy Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- Portugal is poised to hand over to Italy Sabrina de Sousa, a former US spy convicted of the abduction of an Egyptian cleric.
- Stockpiling additional heavy water in another country not violation of national sovereignty IRNA 31 Dec 2016 -- A member of Majlis (Parliament) said that stockpiling the country's additional heavy water in other states does not violate Iran's national soverignty.
- Majlis instructs AEOI to devise plan on emergency situation in power plants, nuclear sites IRNA 31 Dec 2016 -- Iranian parliament (Majlis) passed a bill on Saturday to oblige the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to devise a plan aimed at addressing the emergency situation in power plants and nuclear facilities.
- Egypt court backs govt. in giving Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- An Egyptian appeal court has ruled in favor of the government's contentious decision in giving control of two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia, reversing an earlier Administrative Court ruling that concluded the pair should remain under Egypt's sovereignty.
- Kabila agrees to quit power after 2017 polls Press TV 31 Dec 2016 -- The government of the Congolese President Joseph Kabila has reportedly reached an agreement with opposition parties to end the current political crisis in the Congo over his refusal to step down following a defeat in recent polls.
- Crackdowns, Downturns, And A Transfer Of Power: A Look Back At A Fascinating Year In Central Asia RFE/RL 31 Dec 2016 -- This past year in Central Asia proved every bit as interesting as it was predicted to be.
- Bosnian Serb Leader Submits To Questioning Over Illegal Referendum RFE/RL 31 Dec 2016 -- Under U.S. pressure, the leader of Bosnia's autonomous Republika Srpska submitted to questioning by prosecutors on December 30 for holding a referendum in violation of a Constitutional Court ruling.
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