18 February 2018 Military News
- Pentagon watchdog agency questions 'progress' in US war on Afghanistan Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- A watchdog agency at the US Defense Department has raised new reservations about "progress" in the 16-year-old US-led war on Afghanistan despite deployment of thousands of more troops to the war-ravaged country.
- Hashish Becoming a Main Source of Income for the Taliban Sputnik 18 Feb 2018 -- Cannabis resin has joined opium as an export of choice for Islamist terrorists fighting the Afghan government for control of the country, which has been ravaged by war for decades.
- IS Smuggling Wood to Finance Militancy in Afghanistan VOA 18 Feb 2018 -- Islamic State is chopping down fruit trees and smuggling the timber into Pakistan, claim Afghan officials and local residents of the Deh Bala district of eastern Nangarhar province where the terrorist group operates.
- Another Provincial Governor Defies Dismissal Orders from Afghan President VOA 18 Feb 2018 -- Afghanistan's political crisis deepened Sunday when a second provincial governor defied a presidential order for his removal.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Mattis: New Policy Cracks Down On Force Deployability AFPS 18 Feb 2018 -- The Defense Department has a "higher expectation" of deployability by its forces, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday.
- Mattis 'Heartened' by NATO Nations' Increased Defense Budgets AFPS 18 Feb 2018 -- Global democracies are working together, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday to reporters traveling with him as he wrapped up a European trip to reaffirm key partnerships and alliances.
- US won't stop patrols near China's islands in South China Sea: Navy Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- A US Navy officer has warned that China's military presence in the South China Sea would not stop American forces from patrolling the strategic, disputed waters.
- USS Carney Joins Ross in the Black Sea NNS 18 Feb 2018 -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) joined USS Ross (DDG 71) in the Black Sea to conduct maritime security operations Feb. 17, 2018.
- USS Carney Enters Black Sea NNS 18 Feb 2018 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) entered the Black Sea Feb. 17, 2018, to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, as well as strengthen combined readiness and naval capability among NATO allies and partners.
- US Warns of 'Critical Time for Humanity' at Tense Security Conference VOA 18 Feb 2018 -- Dozens of the world's political and military leaders, along with thousands of politicians, journalists and security experts descend on southern Germany every year for the Munich Security Conference.
- 'We're In Trouble': Rancor Rules At Munich Security Conference RFE/RL 18 Feb 2018 -- Sharp and often fierce rhetoric permeated this year's Munich Security Conference, which asked participants if the world could manage to dial down the geopolitical tensions that have been rapidly mounting in recent years.
- U.S., Georgian Officials Discuss Defense Ties In Munich RFE/RL 18 Feb 2018 -- The Pentagon says Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has met with the Georgian prime minister and defense minister in Germany to discuss bilateral defense relations and regional security issues.
- Beijing Building World's Largest Drone Ship Test Site by South China Sea Sputnik 18 Feb 2018 -- In efforts to increase its presence in contested waters, China has begun construction on the world's largest test site for unmanned vessels at one of the nation's many gateways to the South China Sea.
- What accounts for Pakistan's troop deployment to Saudi Arabia? Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have historically had close military partnership in the Middle East, and Islamabad has recently announced that it is sending troops to the oil-rich kingdom on a "training and advice mission," without specifying the exact role the soldiers will play there.
- Indonesia inks deal to buy 11 Sukhoi Su-35 jets from Russia Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- Indonesia has finalized a billion-dollar deal pertaining to the purchase of 11 Sukhoi Su-35 jets from Russia.
- Dozen Emirati troopers, tens of Saudi mercs slain in abortive assault on Yemeni base Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- At least twelve servicemen from the United Arab Emirates Army and tens of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, have been killed when they launched an offensive on a military base in Yemen's southwestern province of Ta'izz.
- Yemeni army, allies shoot down Saudi spy drone over Sa'ada Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- Yemeni army soldiers, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have managed to shoot down a Saudi unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as it was on a reconnaissance mission in Yemen's northwestern province of Sa'ada.
- U.S., Allies Press UN To Punish Iran For Huthi Access To Missiles RFE/RL 18 Feb 2018 -- The United States, Britain, and France are pushing the United Nations Security Council to condemn Iran for failing to prevent its missiles from falling into the hands of Huthi rebels in Yemen.
- Turkish foreign minister denies allegation of chemical attack in northwestern Syria Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- Turkish foreign minister says Turkey never used internationally-banned chemical weapons in its operations in Syria after Kurdish forces and a monitoring group accused Ankara of carrying out a gas attack in its ongoing offensive in the Arab country's northwestern region of Afrin.
- White House Doubts Turkey's Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria Sputnik 18 Feb 2018 -- The US government has expressed skepticism over reports that Turkey used chemical weapons in Syrian northern region of Afrin in its ongoing offensive operation, US White House official Michael Anton said.
- US-backed SDF militants claim cross-border attack on Turkish soldiers for first time Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed anti-Damascus militant group, has claimed that in a cross-border attack it targeted military positions in neighboring Turkey, which is leading a month-long war against a Kurdish-controlled enclave in war-torn Syria.
- US vows to probe Syria attack involving Russians Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- US Defense Secretary James Mattis has pledged to investigate an alleged attack involving a group of Russian private military contractors on US-backed opposition forces in Syria but stopped short of accusing Moscow of orchestrating the assault.
- YPG Official Rep: Syria Should Close Airspace for Turkish Jets Sputnik 18 Feb 2018 -- In an interview to Sputnik, Kurdish YPG representative Nuri Mahmud detailed the disposition around the Syrian city of Afrin, where Turkey's Operation Olive Branch is still underway.
- Turkish Foreign Minister Calls for Respect of Syrian Territorial Integrity Sputnik 18 Feb 2018 -- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday held a speech at the 2018 Munich Security Conference, in which he elaborated on the issue of Syria's territorial integrity and on the progress made at Astana peace talks.
- Afrin's Kurds Agree With Syrian Gov't for Army to Help Fight Turks - Official Sputnik 18 Feb 2018 -- Amid reports of Turkey allegedly launching a gas attack in Syria, Kurdish YPG groups in Afrin are calling on the Syrian army to meddle in to protect their borders from Turkish combat men, a YPG representative Nuri Mahmud told RIA Novosti.
- SDF Claims Syrian Kurds Attacked Military Camp on Turkish Territory Sputnik 18 Feb 2018 -- The Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attacked a military camp on Turkish territory used by troops for preparing Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Kurdish-held Afrin, the SDF media center said on Saturday.
- Presence of foreign forces not acceptable in Iraq: Official Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- An Iraqi official has expressed his opposition to the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, saying they only aggravate problems in the war-stricken country.
- Sweden offers soldiers for potential UN peacekeeping mission in Ukraine Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- Sweden has offered to provide troops for a potential United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine to help resolve the years-long deadly conflict between the government in Kiev and ethnic Russians in the east.
- Moldovan PM Renews Call For Russia To Quit Transdniester RFE/RL 18 Feb 2018 -- Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip has repeated his call for Russia to withdraw its troops and armaments from Moldova's separatist region of Transdniester.
- Afghan Refugees in Spotlight Amid Debate Over Sources of Unrest VOA 18 Feb 2018 -- A security expert from the Afghan-Pakistan region said Pakistani officials are blaming unrest on Afghan refugees in a bid to divert attention from the real causes of militancy.
- Trump: Russia Has Been Hugely Successful in Disrupting US Political Landscape VOA 18 Feb 2018 -- President Donald Trump said Sunday he believes Russia has been wildly successful in disrupting the U.S. political landscape with its interference in the 2016 election because of the subsequent months-long investigations it spawned.
- Trump Criticizes FBI for 'Missing Signals' Before Florida School Shooting VOA 18 Feb 2018 -- President Donald Trump has criticized the the top U.S. law enforcement agency for "missing signals" before a 19-year-old man carried out a mass shooting at a Florida high school last week.
- Israel's 'cartoonish circus' does not deserve dignity of response: Iran FM Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed Israeli prime minister's anti-Iran accusations during the Munich Security Conference as 'cartoonish circus', saying his remarks do not deserve a response.
- Flaunting 'drone' part, Netanyahu threatens 'to act' against Iran Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- Israel's prime minister has said his regime could "act" directly against Iran, showing off what he called a piece of an Iranian drone which the Israeli military claims to have downed more than a week ago.
- Israel, Iran Trade Barbs At Munich Security Conference RFE/RL 18 Feb 2018 -- Israel's prime minister and the Iranian foreign minister have traded sharp words at a high-profile security conference, with Benjamin Netanyahu likening Iran to Nazi Germany and Mohammad Javad Zarif calling the Israeli leader's speech a "cartoonish circus."
- Israel's PM Netanyahu: Iran is Greatest Threat to World Sputnik 18 Feb 2018 -- Tensions between Israel and Iran have been running high since the Israeli armed forces intercepted what they said was an Iranian drone and conducted a series of attacks on military objects in Syria.
- Israel, Iran Clash Over Nuclear Threat at Munich Conference VOA 18 Feb 2018 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that Iran is just years away from having a nuclear bomb.
- Israel makes arrests in new probe linked to Netanyahu case Press TV 18 Feb 2018 -- Several suspects have been arrested by the Israeli police in a new probe linked to a wider corruption case involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
- 'We are not out of the woods yet' on drought relief efforts, warns top UN aid official in Somalia UN News 18 Feb 2018 -- The top United Nations humanitarian official in Somalia has commended the drought relief and recovery efforts of the authorities in the northern state of Puntland, while cautioning that the current humanitarian crisis is far from over.
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