20 January 2018 Military News
- Gunmen attack Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, open fire on guests Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- A group of gunmen have attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital, Kabul, shooting at guests.
- Gunmen Attack Kabul Hotel; At Least One 'Terrorist' Killed RFE/RL 20 Jan 2018 -- Afghan security officials said that gunmen attacked Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel on January 20 and that security forces battling the assailants had killed one "terrorist."
- US-led invasion worsened Afghan security situation: Iran diplomat Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- A senior Iranian diplomat says the US-led invasion of Afghanistan has merely led to the deterioration of the security situation in the Asian country, urging enhanced economic ties with Kabul to pave the way for an international fight against terrorism there.
- Militants Storm Top Hotel in Afghan Capital VOA 20 Jan 2018 -- A group of heavily armed gunmen, including suicide bombers, stormed a top hotel in Kabul late Saturday, and there were reports of casualties.
Defense Policy / Programs
- With New US Defense Strategy Prioritizing 'Great Power Competition,' Mattis Heads to Asia VOA 20 Jan 2018 -- On Friday, ahead of his trip this weekend to Asia, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis unveiled a major shift in U.S. defense priorities.
- SECAF/CSAF Letter to Airmen: Government Shutdown AFNS 20 Jan 2018
- Mattis Issues Guidance as Federal Government Shuts Down AFPS 20 Jan 2018 -- The Defense Department will continue its mission to defend the people of the United States, American allies and U.S. vital interests around the world during the government shutdown that began at midnight, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said in a memo.
- Germany stops arms sales to Saudi Arabia Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Germany has stopped selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and almost all of its allies waging war on Yemen, in a decision likely to have both an impact on the Riyadh regime and a domino effect on other Western and non-Western countries exporting arms to Saudi Arabia.
- China Claims US Warship Violated Its Sovereignty VOA 20 Jan 2018 -- China has accused the United States of violating its sovereignty after a U.S. missile destroyer sailed near a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.
- China Accuses US Warship of Entering Territorial Waters, Violating Sovereignty Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- The South China Sea area is a disputed region claimed by Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam, as it is believed that it has vast energy resources. Chinese authorities claim 90 percent of the area and have repeatedly said that all the country's activities in the region are China's sovereign right.
- China accuses US warship of intruding into its territorial waters in S China Sea Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- China has slammed the US for intruding into its territorial waters by sailing a missile destroyer close to a disputed South China Sea island, and vowed to take "necessary measures" to protect its sovereignty.
- China Accuses US of Violating Maritime Border in South China Sea Incident Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- Beijing has declared that it will take "necessary measures" to protect Chinese sovereignty, after a US Navy destroyer sailed within a 12-mile international limit claimed by China in the South China Sea.
- Yemeni forces, allies hit Saudi military base with ballistic missile: Report Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have fired a short-range ballistic missile at a military base in Saudi Arabia's southwestern border region of Najran, in retaliation for the Saudi regime's military campaign against the crisis-hit country, Yemeni media report.
- Saudi Military Intercepts Houthi Missile Fired From Yemen Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- The Royal Saudi Air Force (RAF) spokesman has reported of a ballistic missile being fired by the Houthi militants from Yemen and of its intercept by the country's military.
- Manbij next, says Erdogan as Turkey warplanes bomb Syria's Afrin Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara plans to launch an operation against US-backed Kurdish militants in the northern Syrian city of Manbij as Turkish warplanes launch airstrikes on positions of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in Syria.
- Turkey pounds US-backed forces in Syria for second day Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Turkish troops have started a second day of military strikes against US-backed Kurdish militants in Syria.
- Turkish Air Strikes Target Kurdish Militia In Syria RFE/RL 20 Jan 2018 -- Turkey on January 20 launched a new ground and air operation against an enclave controlled by U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northwestern Syria, disregarding U.S. warnings that such a move could destabilize the region further.
- Turkey's Land Forces to Carry Out 'Necessary Activities' in Syria on Sunday - PM Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- Turkish Prime Minsiter Binali Yildrim stated that nearly all targets had been destroyed with air strikes as part of the military operation in Syria's Afrin.
- Turkish Jets Hit Menagh Airbase Used by US to Supply Arms to Kurds - Reports Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- More than 70 Turkish military aircraft have been engaged in Ankara's Olive Branch operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish troop, according to Turkey' General Staff.
- Turkish Army Launches New Strikes on Syrian Kurds Day After Afrin Op Launched Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- The Turkish Armed Forces have launched news airstrikes on Kurds militia in Syria, the statement issued by the Turkish military said Saturday.
- Syria condemns Turkey's 'brutal aggression' on Kurdish enclave Afrin Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- The Syrian government has condemned the "brutal Turkish aggression" against the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, rejecting Ankara's claim about having informed Damascus of the operation.
- Russia 'concerned' about Turkey's military operation in Syria, calls for restraint Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Russia has voiced concern about a Turkish military operation in Syria's Kurdish-controlled Afrin region, calling on the sides to exercise restraint.
- Damascus Resolutely Condemns Turkish Military Operation in Afrin Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- Earlier on Saturday, Ankara has officially kicked off a military operation codenamed "Olive Branch" against Kurdish forces in the Syrian city of Afrin, and claimed it had notified the Syrian government about it. The Syrian side has reportedly denied receiving any notification.
- SDF Announces Readiness to Defend Kurds From Turkish Offensive in Syrian Afrin Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- The Arab-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by the United States, on Saturday issued a statement expressing readiness to defend themselves and the Kurdish people against the Turkish military operation near the Syrian town of Afrin.
- Syria forces wrest control of airbase in Idlib, liberate villages in Idlib, Aleppo Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Syrian government troops have retaken full control of the strategic military airbase of Abu al-Duhur in the northwestern province of Idlib. They also managed to liberate several villages in Idlib and the northern province of Aleppo from the grips of terrorist outfits.
- Russian FM slams US efforts to create 'alternative authority' in Syria Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has lashed out at the US for undermining the territorial integrity of Syria through efforts to form "alternative bodies of authority" across the Middle Eastern country.
- Syrian Army Reportedly Regains Control of Airbase in Idlib Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- The base was lost to militants in 2015. Its capture means a significant achievement for the Syrian Army in its offensive in Idlib, which started in December.
- UN: Millions of Iraqi Children Affected by Conflict, Poverty Face Grim Future VOA 20 Jan 2018 -- The U.N. children's fund warns that millions of Iraqi children affected by conflict and poverty face a grim future and are in desperate need of international support.
- Kashmir cross-border fire kills 4, including Indian soldier Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Cross-border clashes in Kashmir between India and Pakistan have killed four more people, including an Indian soldier.
- India accuses Pakistani troops of new deadly Kashmir attacks Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Indian authorities have accused Pakistani troops of initiating a fire fight along the restive border in Kashmir, saying a soldier and two civilians have been killed on the New Delhi-administered side of the disputed region.
- India Accuses Pakistan of Ceasefire Violation on Kashmir Border - Reports Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- Both countries have been staking a claim to the Kashmir territory since 1947, when they gained independence from the British colonial domination.
- Trump Signs Bill to Reauthorize Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Sputnik 20 Jan 2018 -- US President Donald Trump said in a statement he has signed a bill that reauthorizes a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) but stressed it was not the same law abused during the election.
- Twitter: 667,775 Americans Engaged With Russian 'Troll' Tweets In 2016 RFE/RL 20 Jan 2018 -- Twitter said it has found Russian efforts to influence the U.S. presidential election in 2016 were more extensive than it originally thought, with some 677,775 Americans having followed or liked tweets put out by a notorious Russian troll farm.
- Russian Trolls Found Amplifying U.S. Republican Charge Against FBI RFE/RL 20 Jan 2018 -- Russian trolls have helped create a big swell of support online for a move by U.S. Republicans to force the release of a classified document that they say provides evidence of bias against U.S. President Donald Trump at the Justice Department.
- President Rouhani: Iran staying in JCPOA, as long as other parties stay in IRNA 20 Jan 2018 -- The Iran nuclear deal is very important to peace, stability and development of the region, said President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday in a meeting with the new Cypriot Ambassador in Tehran Petros Nacouzis to receive his credentials.
- US withdrawal from JCPOA, big political folly: Iran's Rouhani Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the United States would be making "a very big" political mistake if it pulls out of the 2015 multilateral agreement over Tehran's nuclear program.
- MAC calls for cross-strait negotiation to resolve air dispute CNA 20 Jan 2018 -- Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said Saturday that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should begin negotiations on aviation issues related to Beijing's recent unilateral decision to launch a flight route close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
- Egypt's President Sisi to stand for re-election in March vote Press TV 20 Jan 2018 -- Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has announced that he will stand for re-election in the presidential vote due to be held in March.
- Pence Vows Firm Support of Egypt in Its Fight Against Terrorism VOA 20 Jan 2018 -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence pledged Saturday that the U.S. would continue to support Egypt in its battle against terrorism.
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