15 October 2017 Military News
- Afghan Authorities Say Truck Bombing Foiled In Kabul RFE/RL 15 Oct 2017 -- Afghan authorities say they have foiled a potentially deadly blast in the capital, Kabul, after seizing a truck loaded with explosives.
- Four-Way Afghan Peace Talks Set to Resume in Oman VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States are set to resume four-way discussions Monday in Oman in a renewed bid to seek a politically negotiated settlement to the Afghan war.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Formidable Shield 2017: Ship Engages BMD Target during NATO exercise, MDA and Navy conduct SM-6 test launch MDA 15 Oct 2017 -- Ships from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated in a live-fire integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) scenario, defending against a ballistic missile target as well as three anti-ship cruise missiles Oct. 15 as part of exercise Formidable Shield 2017 (FS17). Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) is conducting Formidable Shield on behalf of the U.S. 6th Fleet. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is also a major participant in this exercise.
- Atlas V US Carrier Rocket Lifts Off From Cape Canaveral After Three Delays Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- After being delayed for three times due to Hurricane Irma and technical issues, the Atlas V carrier rocket has been finally launched.
- U.S.-Taiwan forum weighs impact of Trump policies on national defense CNA 15 Oct 2017 -- An annual conference between Taiwan the United States, which opens Sunday in New Jersey, will focus this year on the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Northeast Asia and their potential impact on Taiwan's defense affairs.
- UNICEF says future of 4.5 Yemeni schoolchildren at stake Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the future of up to 4.5 million schoolchildren in the war-torn Yemen is uncertain as thousands of teachers refuse to attend classes for not receiving their salaries during the past year.
- Turkish Troops Deployment in Syria Was Joint Decision by Astana Guarantors - MP Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- Damascus calls the recent deployment of the country's troops to the Syrian Idlib province an invasion, while Turkey defines it as a move coordinated with other states.
- Syrian Parliament Condemns Turkish 'Invasion' in Idlib, Demands Troops Pullout Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- The Syrian parliament has reiterated Damascus' reported demand concerning the Turkish troops' withdrawal from Idlib amid Ankara's military operation in the region previously announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- US-backed SDF militants start final assault on Daesh-held Raqqah Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Militants from US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have launched an operation to retake the last pocket of the northern Syrian city of Raqqah, which served as Daesh Takfiri terrorist group's de facto capital in the war-ravaged Arab country.
- Daesh terrorists quit Raqqah under US-backed deal Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- The US-backed alliance of militants, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), says last Daesh terrorists have been evacuated from their one-time bastion of Raqqah as part of an agreement.
- US forces carpet-bombed Raqqah residential areas: Russia Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- The US and its coalition forces have carried out carpet-bombing of residential areas of Syria's northeastern Raqqah city, damaging its water resources in the purported battle to flush out the Daesh (ISIL) terrorists from what used to be called their capital, the Russian defense ministry says.
- IS Fighters Expected to Evacuate Raqqa VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- A group of Islamic State fighters has evacuated the Syrian city of Raqqa under a withdrawal agreement with the U.S.-backed Syrian militias surrounding them.
- US-Backed Syrian Democratic Forces Rebels Begin Final Assault on Daesh in Raqqa Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- The US-backed Syrian rebels have announced the final stage of their operation to free the former so-called Daesh "capital," Raqqa, from terrorists.
- US-backed Militias Launch Final Assault on IS Stronghold in Raqqa VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- U.S.-backed militias said Sunday they have launched their final assault on Raqqa, the northern Syria city Islamic State has claimed as the self-declared capital of its religious caliphate.
- Trump Administration Accused of Aiding Iranian Militias in Syria VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- U.S. President Donald Trump lambasted Iranian expansionism in the Middle East Friday when disavowing the international nuclear deal with Tehran, citing in particular Iran's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But analysts charge his strategy to check Iran in the region remains inconsistent, especially when it comes to Syria.
- Nearly 700,000 Iraqis still displaced months after Mosul recapture: NGO Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- An independent humanitarian organization says hundreds of thousands of people are still displaced from Iraq's strategic northern city of Mosul, which served as Daesh terror group's last urban bastion and its de facto capital in the Arab country, months after government forces and their allied fighters liberated it from the clutches of the extremists.
- Iraqi forces take control of 'vast' regions in disputed Kirkuk Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Iraqi forces say they have taken control of "vast areas" of Kirkuk following clashes with Kurdish Peshmerga forces who had occupied the oil-rich region.
- Report: Iraqi forces advance on Kurdish-held Kirkuk Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Iraqi Forces have started to advance toward Kurdish-held Kirkuk, Reuters reports Kurdish and Iraqi officials as saying.
- Iraqi govt.: PKK presence in Kirkuk amounts to declaration of war Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- The Iraqi government has accused authorities of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of bringing militants from Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to the disputed oil province of Kirkuk, saying it considered the move as a "declaration of war."
- Iraqi, Kurdish Troops In Tense Standoff As Deadline Nears RFE/RL 15 Oct 2017 -- Iraqi troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were locked in an armed standoff in Kirkuk Province as tensions continue to rise following the holding of an independence referendum by Kurdistan officials last month.
- Shots Fired in Flashpoint City as Iraqi, Kurdish Forces Stand Off in Kirkuk VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- On the road out of Kirkuk city, Kurdish Peshmerga forces are massed on a bridge, overlooking the countryside. Just over a nearby bream, Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) soldiers whip down a street in large pick-up trucks, while Iraqi Army tanks lay quiet, parked in fields with their weapons pointed at Kurdish forces.
- Bangladesh beefs up border security amid Rohingya concerns Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Bangladesh has stepped up security along its western border with India amid concerns that hundreds of Rohingya Muslim refugees could be pushed into its territory.
- Death toll from twin blasts in Somalia's capital rises to 231 Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- The death toll from two recent bomb blasts in busy locations in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has jumped to 231 with at least 275 people injured, making them the deadliest attacks to have ever happened in the country.
- At Least 231 Killed In Massive Truck Bomb In Somali Capital RFE/RL 15 Oct 2017 -- The death toll from a massive bomb attack in a busy area of Somalia's capital has risen to at least 231, making it the deadliest single attack the country has ever seen, police and health officials said.
- Somalia Blast Toll at 276 as Residents Protest Al-Shabab VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- The death toll from Saturday's massive truck bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu - the deadliest terror attack in the country's history - has topped 270.
- Egyptian security forces kill at least 24 Daeshis in restive Sinai Peninsula Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Some 24 Daeshis have been killed after they launch attacks on Egyptian military positions in the North Sinai Peninsula.
- Egyptian Army: Terror Plan Foiled in Sinai Peninsula VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- Egyptian security forces have foiled a militant attack on army installations in the Sinai Peninsula, a day after half a dozen policemen were killed by insurgents in the region, a military statement said.
- Kurdish leaders reject Baghdad's demand to cancel referendum results Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Kurdish leaders have dismissed the Iraqi government's demand that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) annul the results of last month's independence referendum in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
- Iraq's Kurdish Leadership Rejects Baghdad Demand to Cancel Independence Vote Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- The demand by the Iraqi authorities to cancel the results of the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum has been rejected by Erbil.
- Iran denies closing land border with Iraq's Kurdistan region Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Iran has denied reports that the country has closed its land border with the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan Region in response to last month's independence referendum in the region.
- Iran Denies Shutting Border Crossings With Northern Iraq RFE/RL 15 Oct 2017 -- Iran denies reports that it has closed border crossings with northern Iraq in response to an independence referendum in the autonomous Kurdish region last month.
- Source in Iranian Foreign Ministry Denies Closure of Border With Iraqi Kurdistan Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- Earlier in the day, Iran's Tasnim news agency said Iran had closed its border with Iraqi Kurdistan. Tehran has refuted the report as false.
- Iran: Additional Protocol implementation depends on nuclear deal IRNA 15 Oct 2017 -- Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said that the Islamic Republic will remain committed to its obligations under the Additional Protocol as far as the nuclear deal is respected.
- Iran to halt implementation of additional Protocol if US kills JCPOA ISNA 15 Oct 2017 -- The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi warned Tehran would halt the implementation of the additional Protocol if the nuclear agreement is canceled.
- JCPOA still triumph of diplomacy: Zarif ISNA 15 Oct 2017 -- Iran's foreign minister stresses that the 2015 nuclear agreement is still a triumph of diplomacy because other signatories are standing solidly with the Islamic Republic in maintaining the accord.
- US to stay in Iran nuclear deal: UN ambassador Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- The United States is going to stay in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal despite President Donald Trump's move not to recertify it, says US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, asserting that Iran is not in breach of the agreement.
- US Treasury plans new sanctions on Iran's IRGC: Mnuchin Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- The US Treasury Department is planning to introduce new sanctions against Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), according to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
- Britain, Germany renew commitment to JCPOA Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Britain and Germany have reiterated their commitment to the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries despite US President Donald Trump's refusal to certify the deal, a UK government spokeswoman says.
- Iran to stop Additional Protocol if JCPOA nixed: Salehi Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the Islamic Republic will stop implementing the Non-Proliferation Treaty's (NPT) Additional Protocol if the nuclear agreement is nixed.
- Iran FM: Nuclear deal still triumph of diplomacy Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Iran's foreign minister says the 2015 nuclear agreement is still a triumph of diplomacy because other signatories are standing solidly with the Islamic Republic in maintaining the accord.
- Tillerson: Iran Compliant With Nuclear Deal, But Trump Wants to Fix Flaws VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded Sunday that Iran is in "technical compliance" with the international agreement to curb its nuclear weapons development, but said that President Donald Trump wants Congress to adopt "a more complete strategy" to fix what the U.S. leader sees as flaws in the pact.
- Diplomacy with Pyongyang 'until the first bomb drops,' Tillerson vows Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praises his boss's policy towards North Korea, vowing to continue diplomacy "until the first bomb drops."
- North Korea threatens Australia with 'disaster' Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- North Korea has threatened Australia with "disaster" for aligning itself with South Korea and the United States in stepping up pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
- N Korea Rationalizes Nukes and Missiles as Way to Protect Itself From US Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- A member of North Korea's Parliament spoke about the threat of destruction the country faces from the United States.
- Tillerson on N Korea: US to Continue Diplomatic Efforts 'Until First Bomb Drops' Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has commented on Washington's stance on the North Korean issue and the Iranian nuclear deal after Donald Trump's decision not to certify Tehran's compliance with the agreement.
- North Korea Blasts Trump as a 'Strangler of Peace' Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- A new round in the US-North Korea war of words came Sunday, with a Pyongyang state-run newspaper calling American President Donald Trump a "strangler of peace" who is pushing the situation on the Korean Peninsula "to the brink of war."
- S Korea Prepares for Drills With US, But Urges North to Return to Negotiations Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- South Korean parliament speaker and a North Korean parliamentarian are both attending the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly. Seoul urges talks, Pyongyang refuses due to the upcoming US-South Korean joint drills on the Peninsula and political pressure.
- Washington's, Seoul's Actions Leave No Chance for Any Talks - N Korean Lawmaker Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- A member of the North Korean delegation to the Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union has criticized the upcoming South Korean-US war games amid tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang has repeatedly slammed the joint drills in the region, saying that they risk provoking a further escalation.
- N Korean Lawmaker: Pyongyang Is Capable of Defending Its 'Peaceful Future' Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- The First Deputy Speaker of the North Korean parliament warned on Saturday that Pyongyang is capable of assaulting any foe that would hinder the "bright and peaceful" way of the country's future.
- CPC Central Committee plenum makes full preparation for key congress People's Daily 15 Oct 2017 -- The four-day Seventh Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded in Beijing Saturday with a communique issued.
- China's ruling party expels ex-justice minister Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- A former Chinese justice minister has been banished from China's ruling Communist Party apparently over corruption.
- Merkel's main rival SPD wins state election in Lower Saxony Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party (CDU) suffers a significant setback by losing more supporters in a key state as a rival party and a potential partner in her future coalition government manages to win the elections.
- Spain to seize Catalonia unless it gives definite stance on independence Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- The Spanish government has announced that it will take control of Catalonia if its leader, Carles Puigdemont, refrains from giving Madrid a definite answer on whether it has declared independence.
- UAE planned to attack Qatar with US-trained mercs: Ex-official Press TV 15 Oct 2017 -- Qatar's former deputy prime minister says the United Arab Emirates planned a military invasion of Qatar with thousands of US-trained mercenaries, but it failed to secure Washington's support.
- Jeenbekov Wins Kyrgyz Presidential Election Outright, Preliminary Vote Count Shows RFE/RL 15 Oct 2017 -- Kyrgyz election officials say preliminary results from Kyrgyzstan's presidential vote indicate that Sooronbai Jeenbekov, a political ally of incumbent President Almazbek Atambaev, has won more than 54 percent of the vote, appearing to negate the need for a second-round runoff.
- In Kyrgyzstan, An Unexpected Victory For Atambaev's Chosen Candidate RFE/RL 15 Oct 2017 -- Sooronbai Jeenbekov has won Kyrgyzstan's presidential election by a wider margin than anyone could have predicted during the campaign.
- Macedonians Vote In Municipal Elections In Test Of Support For Zaev Government RFE/RL 15 Oct 2017 -- Macedonians voted on October 15 in municipal elections that are seen as a test for the new left-wing government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, five months after it came to power following an extended period of political instability.
- Liberia Announces Runoff Election Between Weah, Boakai VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- A runoff vote for the presidency of Liberia will be held between former footballer George Weah and incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, the electoral commission said Sunday.
- Conservatives Win Austrian Parliamentary Election VOA 15 Oct 2017 -- After more than six decades of moderate and centrist governments, Austria appears to be shifting to the right after conservative Sebastian Kurz and his People's Party won Sunday's parliamentary election.
- Kurz-Led Austria's People's Party Winning Parliamentary Elections Sputnik 15 Oct 2017 -- Sebastian Kurz's Austrian People's Party (OVP) is winning the snap parliamentary elections in Austria, securing over 30 percent, according to the preliminary results of the vote as all ballots except those sent by mail have been counted.
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