14 February 2018 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 14 Feb 2018 [PDF]
- Afghanistan's Neighbors Pledge Cooperation On Security RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan says regional military chiefs vowed to cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the narcotics trade during a two-day conference in Kabul.
- Afghan Taliban Pen Open Letter to Americans, Call for Dialogue VOA 14 Feb 2018 -- The Taliban, in an "open letter" to the American people has called for dialogue to end the prolonged Afghan war, claiming increased U.S. military airstrikes have not "retaken even a single inch of land" from the insurgency.
- Taliban Confirms Senior Leader Killed by US Air Strike Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), better known simply as the Pakistani Taliban, confirmed on Monday that the deputy head of the group had been killed by a drone strike.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Pacom Commander Says Indo-Pacific Region at a Crossroads AFPS 14 Feb 2018 -- America's security and economic prosperity are linked to the Indo-Pacific region, which finds itself at a crossroads, Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told the House Armed Services Committee today.
- Readout From Secretary James N. Mattis' Bilateral Meeting With Poland Minister of National Defence DoD 14 Feb 2018
- USNS Fall River Completes Voyage Repair in Thailand NNS 14 Feb 2018 -- The expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4) completed a 28-day voyage repair availability in Laem Chabang, Thailand, Feb. 13.
- Bremerton Visits Singapore During Indo-Pacific Deployment NNS 14 Feb 2018 -- The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) arrived in Singapore Feb. 14 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.
- Thai Game: US Doubles Troop Presence at Thailand's Annual Military Exercises Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- The US has nearly doubled its troop commitment to Thailand's annual Cobra Gold multilateral military exercises from last year. Relations between Bangkok and Washington have improved since US President Donald Trump took office, but the exercises are complicated by the presence of Myanmarese observers.
- NATO Defense Ministers Approve New Alliance Commands AFPS 14 Feb 2018 -- NATO defense ministers have approved plans to form two new alliance commands, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said today in Brussels.
- Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after a meeting of NATO defence ministers NATO 14 Feb 2018
- Doorstep statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg prior to the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers NATO 14 Feb 2018
- Belgium joins Allied effort to deliver air-to-air refueling capacity NATO 14 Feb 2018 -- On Wednesday (14 February 2018), Belgium joined a multinational effort to acquire a European multinational fleet of Airbus multirole tanker–transport (MRTT) aircraft. At a signing ceremony at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Defence Ministers from Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway celebrated Belgium's official accession to this effort.
- NATO ministers to discuss strains with US over EU military cooperation Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- Defense ministers with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have met in Brussels to discuss Washington's concerns over EU plans for closer military ties between the bloc's members, and increasingly strained US-Turkey relations.
- NATO Says More Members Plan To Reach Spending Goal By 2024 RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- Fifteen of NATO's 29 members have laid out plans to meet the alliance's defense spending goal by 2024, overall increasing spending by $46 billion, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.
- Canada Rejoins NATO Airborne Warning and Control System Program – Armed Forces Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- Canada has decided to participate in a NATO airborne early warning system six years after a strategic review prompted the nation to announce it was pulling out of the program, Canadian Armed Forces announced in a press release on Wednesday.
- Russia eyeing contract with Turkey for next batch of S-400s: Informed source Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- Russia is considering signing a contract with Turkey to provide the NATO military alliance member with another batch of advanced S-400 missile defense systems, a government source has revealed.
- Turkey Not Receiving Enough NATO Support in Anti-Terror Fight - Defense Minister Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli on Wednesday reiterated Turkey's decisiveness in clearing out terrorists from Syria's northwestern Afrin region.
- China Approaches Parity With US Military in All Domains - PACOM Chief Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- China's military buildup is approaching near parity with the United States on the land, sea, air and in cyber warfare, US Pacific Command (PACOM) commander Admiral Harry Harris told Congress on Wednesday.
- EU Extends Belarus Arms Ban, With An Exception RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- European Union diplomats have decided to extend the EU arms embargo on Belarus by another year but to make an exception for small-caliber sport guns.
- Iran develops missile program as part of defensive doctrine: Leader's adviser Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- A senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran's development of missiles does not concern any countries as it is totally a matter of domestic policy.
- US Intelligence: Pakistan Expanding Nuclear Program, Drawing Closer to China Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- The US intelligence community has warned that they believe Pakistan is developing more advanced nuclear weapons, which could erode regional security. Washington also continues to claim Islamabad has been complicit in accommodating Islamic terrorist and militant groups.
- MOD submits final Typhoon proposal to Belgium UK MOD 14 Feb 2018 -- The UK Ministry of Defence has today submitted its final Eurofighter Typhoon offer to Belgium.
- Europe Held Leading Positions in Terms of Real Defense Spending in 2017 - Report Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- Europe became a global leader in terms of growth in real defense spending – spending adjusted for inflation – in 2017, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said Wednesday in its annual report that assesses the military capabilities of countries.
- Background Briefing: Updating on Secretary Tillerson's Trip to Amman, Jordan; Ankara, Turkey; Beirut, Lebanon; Cairo, Egypt; and Kuwait City, Kuwait US Dept. of State 14 Feb 2018
- 14 February 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 14 Feb 2018
- Chinese Paper Says British Navy is Only Attention Seeking Over South China Plan Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- Plans by Britain to sail a Royal Navy warship through the disputed South China Sea later this year is merely an attention-seeking exercise, according to China's state media that could have potentially damaging trade implications between the two countries.
- UK seeks to grab attention with planned South China Sea mission: China Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- A leading Chinese newspaper has criticized Britain's decision to sail one of its warships through the disputed South China Sea next month.
- China, ASEAN to begin consultation on Code of Conduct in South China Sea in March People's Daily 14 Feb 2018 -- China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will start consultation on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea in early March, according to a consultative meeting between China and the Philippines on Tuesday.
- Taiwan asserts sovereignty over Diaoyutais following Japan's directive CNA 14 Feb 2018 -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday reaffirmed the Republic of China's sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, following reports that students in Japan will be taught that the disputed island group are an integral part of Japanese territory.
- Turkey imposes curfews in Diyarbakir ahead of anti-PKK operation Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- Turkey has imposed curfews in several areas in Diyarbakir in preparation for a new operation against the Kurdish militants active in the southeastern province.
- Turkey Poll Shows Strong Support for Ankara's Military Campaign in Syria VOA 14 Feb 2018 -- Turkey's military incursion into Syria against a Kurdish militia has received overwhelming support, according to a new Turkish opinion poll.
- Turkish army now in control of only 7 pc of Afrin region IRNA 15 Feb 2018 -- The Turkish army and its accompanying terrorists have taken control of 24 townships and villages in Afrin region since the start of operation 'Olive Branch', the Syrian Human Rights Watchdog affiliated to the country's dissident groups said in a report.
- First UN aid convoy reaches Syria's Eastern Ghouta Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- An aid convoy has for the first time this year reached the Eastern Ghouta region near Syrian capital of Damascus.
- Syrian air defenses prepared to fight off any aggressive move: Mekdad Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad says the country's air defense systems are fully prepared to give a firm response to any possible act of aggression, stressing that the decision to confront any aggressive move is long-standing.
- Nothing To See Here: Moscow Tight-Lipped On Russian Deaths In Syria RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- As details continue to emerge about multiple Russian fighters killed in U.S. air and artillery strikes in Syria last week, the Kremlin and senior Russian officials are choosing their words carefully.
- Kremlin Distances Itself From Reports Of Mercenary Deaths In Syria RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- The chief Kremlin spokesman has suggested that if any Russians were killed by U.S. air strikes in Syria last week, they were not regular soldiers, continuing to distance President Vladimir Putin's government from reports that several Russian mercenaries -- and possibly dozens -- died after staging an attack on U.S. forces and their allies in the Middle Eastern country on February 7.
- Russia Plans To Help Syria Rebuild Devastated Oil, Power Industries RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- Russia plans to help Syria rebuild energy facilities that have been devastated by years of war, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak has said.
- Tillerson: Iran Should Withdraw 'Destabilizing' Forces From Syria RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reiterated a U.S. call for Iran to withdraw from Syria, saying its military presence there is destabilizing the region.
- Over 1,400 Families in Eastern Ghouta, Syria, Will Receive Aid - SARC Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the United Nations have delivered humanitarian assistance to Eastern Ghouta near Damascus for over 1,400 local families, the SARC said Wednesday.
- UN Can't Verify Claims of Chemical Attacks in Syria 'Independently' - De Mistura Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- The United Nations is unable to independently confirm allegations of recent chemical attacks in several locations in Syria, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council.
- Syrian Army Will Down Any Jet That Launches an Assault – Damascus Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- During a press conference, Fayssal Mikdad, Syria's Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, asserted that the USA aimed to prolong the war in the country.
- French President Macron Threatens to Strike Syria if Chemical Attacks Proven Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- Despite being repeatedly accused of using chemical weapons, Damascus has strongly denied having them; it destroyed its arsenal several years ago, and their complete destruction was subsequently confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
- Syria: Civilians killed on 'horrific scale' as conflict begins spilling across borders UN News 14 Feb 2018 -- The conflict in Syria is now spilling over the country's borders amid increased military intervention from multiple sources, a senior United Nations mediator said on Wednesday, warning that civilians are being killed on a horrific scale and the crisis is at one of the most "dangerous and worrying moments" in over four years.
- Kremlin Not Ruling Out Presence of Russian Citizens Apart From Military in Syria Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that he didn't rule out that Russian nationals, who do not belong to the Russian Armed Forces, could be in Syria.
- Iran to continue respecting Iraq's nat'l sovereignty IRNA 14 Feb 2018 -- Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to respect national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, Iranian delegation to Iraq reconstruction conference in Kuwait announced.
- Iraq war against Daesh left 18,000 people dead, minister says Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari says the war with the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group has killed 18,000 people since 2014.
- Hashd al-Sha'abi Turkmen cmdr. calls on US 'occupation forces' to leave Iraq Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- A high-ranking commander of Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha'abi, has described American military forces in Iraqi as "aggressive and occupying," demanding their withdrawal from the war-ravaged Arab country.
- At donor conference, UN chief launches two-year plan to fast-track Iraq reconstruction UN News 14 Feb 2018 -- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday launched a reconstruction programme for Iraq, urging the global community to support Iraqis as they embark on the journey to rebuild their country and make sure that it is committed to unity and inclusivity.
- Hashd ash-Shaabi: 'We Demand the American Occupation Withdrawal From Iraq' Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- Disgruntlement is rising over the presence of the US military in Iraq. The US not only stayed in Iraq after defeating Daesh but is expanding its military presence there, with more than 5,000 of American military men in Iraq and military bases in cities like Baghdad, Dahuk, Mosul, Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah and Erbil.
- Taliban kill 4 paramilitary soldiers in Pakistan Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- Four paramilitary soldiers have been killed when Taliban militants opened fire on a patrol in Pakistan's western city of Quetta, police say.
- Putin Personally Ordered Crimea Annexation, Ex-Duma Deputy Testifies RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- A Russian former lawmaker has testified before a Kyiv court that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014.
- As Nigeria's Regional Task Force Strengthens, Pressure Mounts on Boko Haram VOA 14 Feb 2018 -- On February 2, more than two dozen Boko Haram fighters emerged from a hideout in Sambisa Forest and surrendered to authorities. Their defections were a key victory for Nigerian forces and regional allies in their battle against the diminished, but still deadly, terrorist group.
- Kosovo's President Criticizes International War Crimes Court RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- Kosovo's president has called an international war crimes court with jurisdiction over potential Kosovar suspects a "historical injustice" and said the government only reluctantly accepted it as the "price for its liberty."
- South African President Zuma Resigns VOA 14 Feb 2018 -- South African President Jacob Zuma has resigned after more than a week of intense pressure from his party to step down.
- South African President Zuma Offers Resignation Sputnik 14 Feb 2018 -- In a speech on Wednesday, South African President Jacob Zuma announced his resignation effective immediately after losing the support of his party, the African National Congress (ANC). He has been president since May 2009, but has been significantly pressured to resign under allegations of corruption.
- South Africa's ruling ANC party to sack President Zuma via parliament Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- South Africa's parliament is set to hold a vote of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma amid an ongoing political stalemate in the country.
- Zimbabwe Democratization Advocate Morgan Tsvangirai Dead at 65 VOA 14 Feb 2018 -- Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai known for his lengthy, dogged quest to end the regime of longtime President Robert Mugabe, has died, just months after Mugabe caved to pressure to step down after decades in power.
- Netanyahu defies opposition, vows to stay in office Press TV 14 Feb 2018 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defied fresh opposition calls for him to step down after police recommended that he be indicted for corruption charges.
- Netanyahu Says Government Stable Despite Bribery Scandal VOA 14 Feb 2018 -- Israel's longtime leader is defiant in the face of a deepening corruption scandal that has sparked calls for his resignation.
- U.S.-S. Korea War Exercises Assailed KCNA 14 Feb 2018 -- The south Korean military recently staged a military maneuver Warrior Strike for "destroying WMDs" of the DPRK together with the 2nd Division of the U.S. imperialist aggression forces in south Korea. In the wake of it, the warmongers of the military staged a "coldest period exercise" in the area of Kyonggi Province from Feb. 5, going frantic with the military confrontation.
- Kim Jong Un Orders to Promote Military Ranks of KPA Commanding Officers KCNA 14 Feb 2018 -- Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army Kim Jong Un ordered to promote the military ranks of commanding officers of the Korean People's Army on Tuesday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il.
- Facing US Pressure, North Korea Turns to Sports Diplomacy VOA 14 Feb 2018 -- When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in his New Year's speech, many North Korea watchers wondered what might have motivated the young leader to make the move that echoed his father's basketball diplomacy more than 20 years ago.
- Iran deputy FM lauds JCPOA implementation results IRNA 14 Feb 2018 -- Iranian deputy foreign minister for political affairs lauded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) implementation results in the in the financial field.
- Beidou positioned to provide global coverage People's Daily 14 Feb 2018 -- Satellite network will provide data for countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, as Zhao Lei reports.
- Saakashvili Arrives In Netherlands After Expulsion From Ukraine RFE/RL 14 Feb 2018 -- Mikheil Saakashvili has arrived in the Netherlands, his wife's home country, after being expelled from Ukraine into neighboring Poland.
- Guinea-Bissau: Political crisis requires continued UN presence, Security Council told UN News 14 Feb 2018 -- The United Nations will need to focus its efforts on supporting Guinea-Bissau's national leaders in their efforts to appoint an acceptable Prime Minister, establish an inclusive Government, organize and conduct timely elections, and implement the priority reforms, a UN envoy for the West African country said Wednesday.
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