24 February 2018 Military News
- Deadly blast hits area near US Embassy in Afghan capital Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- An assailant has attacked a diplomatic district in Afghanistan's capital, killing at least three people and injuring six others.
- Suicide Blast, Attacks Kill Dozens In Afghanistan RFE/RL 24 Feb 2018 -- Afghan officials said a suicide bomber has killed two security personnel and wounded seven in an attack in the diplomatic area of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.
- US Military Rejects Russian Claims About Number of IS Fighters in Afghanistan VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- The United States military has rejected Moscow's claim the number of Islamic State militants in Afghanistan runs into the thousands, while at the same time urging Russia and Iran to support the Kabul government, not the Taliban, to help defeat IS in the country.
- Taliban, IS Claim Deadly Attacks Across Afghanistan VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- A series of suicide bombings and militant raids in Afghanistan has killed dozens of people, a day after construction work on the much-awaited Afghan section of an international gas pipeline began.
- Taliban Vows to Protect TAPI Gas Pipeline Project VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- As leaders and representatives of countries involved in the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline celebrated the project's inauguration, Afghan Taliban, in a rare announcement, vowed to support and protect the pipeline in areas under its control.
Defense Policy / Programs
- A look at Russia's advanced Su-57 stealth fighter jets sent to Syria Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- Russia has taken its military support for the Syrian army to a whole new level by dispatching two of its most advanced Su-57 stealth fighter jets to the Arab country. Here are some of the features of the fighter jets.
- 'Chinese hypersonic heavy bomber' is groundless speculation of the West: Experts People's Daily 24 Feb 2018 -- Chinese experts pointed out that the recent "Chinese ultra-fast plane" hype reflects the West's "China threat" mindset, and emphasizes that the US's leading role in global development of ultra-fast planes is currently unshakable.
- Maritime search, rescue maneuver held in Hormuzgan waters IRNA 24 Feb 2018 -- Maritime search and rescue maneuvers were held in Hormuzgan waters enroute Bandar Abbas-Hormuz Island on Saturday afternoon.
- France-Egypt Plane Deal Blocked by US, Fearing Spread of Missile Tech - Official Sputnik 24 Feb 2018 -- The US has blocked Franco-Egyptian negotiations on the sale of additional Rafale fighter jets to the Egyptian Air Force by refusing to export an American component aboard the Scalp cruise missile, French outlet La Tribune reported.
- Explosions in Yemeni Port Kill 5 Near Anti-Terrorism Camp VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- Two suicide car bomb attacks Saturday on a camp used by anti-terrorism forces in Yemen's port of Aden killed at least five people and wounded several others.
- Two civilians killed, four injured in Turkish shelling on Syria's Afrin Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- At least two civilians have been killed and four others injured in Turkish shelling on Syria's northwestern region of Afrin, where Ankara is leading an operation against US-backed Kurdish militants.
- Russia sends most advanced jets to Syria after US F-22 deployment: Reports Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- Russia has reportedly sent two of its most advanced and sophisticated fighter jets to Syria, where its air force has been backing up the national army's ground operation against terrorist groups.
- Another Two Russian Fifth Gen. Su-57 Jets Reportedly Land in Syria's Hmeymim Sputnik 24 Feb 2018 -- Russia's Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet is specifically designed for air superiority and attack roles. Two such planes were reportedly spotted in the skies above Syria earlier this week.
- UN Security Council agrees 30-day ceasefire in Syria UN News 24 Feb 2018 -- The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday in favor of a 30-day cease-fire in Syria, and demanded immediate lifting of sieges on war-ravaged enclaves like eastern Ghouta, where, Secretary-General António Guterres warned earlier this week, some 400,000 people are living “in hell on earth.”
- UN Security Council Demands 30-Day Syria Truce RFE/RL 24 Feb 2018 -- The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria to allow aid deliveries and medical evacuations in conflict areas.
- UN Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution on 30-Day Ceasefire in Syria Sputnik 24 Feb 2018 -- The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution introducing a 30-day truce on Syrian territory to allow the medical evacuation of those injured and provide access to number of regions for humanitarian convoys.
- EU calls for truce in Syria's eastern Ghouta IRNA 24 Feb 2018 -- The wars should stop and the international community should unite to stop the pain people are suffering, said the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in a statement.
- Eastern Ghouta militants kill civilian in mortar attack on Damascus: TV Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- At least one Syrian civilian has been killed and nearly a dozen others sustained injuries in a fresh wave of attacks launched by militants holed up in the Eastern Ghouta against the capital Damascus.
- Syrian army forces, allies foil Fateh al-Sham attack on military posts in Quneitra Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- Syrian government forces, supported by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have repelled a surprise attack by members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, on military posts in the country's strategic southwestern region of Quneitra near the border with Israeli-controlled Palestinian territories.
- US not acting against al-Nusra terrorists in Syria's Eastern Ghouta: Lavrov Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned against the threat of the Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, as the main source of violence in Syria's Eastern Ghouta region, censuring the US for not taking any serious action against the terror group.
- IOM Appeals for $194M to Help Syrians Displaced by War VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- The U.N. migration agency is appealing for nearly $194 million to provide essential aid to three million Syrian war victims displaced internally or as refugees in neighboring countries. The money also would support the communities hosting them.
- 24 Killed in New Syrian Government Airstrikes East of Damascus VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- Another wave of airstrikes pounded the Syrian rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta Saturday, killing at least 24 people and increasing the civilian death toll over the past week to more than 500, including more than 120 children, a Britain-based monitoring group said.
- 3.3 million displaced Iraqis returned to areas of origin by January: IOM Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says around 3.3 million Iraqi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had returned to their areas of origin by the end of January, some two months after the Iraqi government declared the end of military operations against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group following the total defeat of the outfit in the Arab country.
- Myanmar MPs pass $15mn for Rakhine border fence amid crackdown on Rohingya Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- Myanmar's legislators have passed a military budget of nearly $15 million to erect a fence along its border with Bangladesh in Rakhine State, which has been used by the country's minority Rohingya Muslims to flee the military's state-sponsored ethnic cleansing campaign underway in the area.
- Thousands of Children Displaced by Ethnic Violence in DRC's Ituri Province VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- The U.N. children's fund reports at least 90,000 children have been forced to flee their homes in the face of escalating inter-communal violence in Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri Province.
- Mogadishu Blasts Death Toll Rises to 38 VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- The death toll from two suicide car bomb blasts that ripped through the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Friday has risen to at least 38 people, according to government sources.
- Turkey: Early Opening of Jerusalem US Embassy 'Extremely Worrying' VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- The Turkish government called it "extremely worrying" the U.S. will open an embassy in Jerusalem this coning May instead of by the end of next year as had been previously announced.
- US embassy relocation to al-Quds provocative act against Muslims, says Hamas Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has strongly condemned a recent decision by the United States to move its embassy to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds in May, describing the move as "provocative" for all Muslim and Arab nations.
- White House Releases Democrats' Memo on Russia Probes VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- The White House on Saturday released a redacted version of a Democratic congressional memo that rebuts a Republican account of alleged FBI surveillance abuses.
- Former Trump Campaign Chief Hit With New Charges As Deputy Pleads Guilty RFE/RL 24 Feb 2018 -- U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller has hit President Donald Trump's former campaign manager with new conspiracy and other charges, including allegations that he set up a secret lobbying campaign involving former senior European politicians.
- Trump: White House Chief of Staff to Decide Fate of Kushner Security Clearance VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- It will be up to the White House chief of staff to decide whether the U.S. president's son-in-law is able to maintain his security clearance.
- Leaders Hail Gas Pipeline Project As Start Of Central-South Asia Corridor RFE/RL 24 Feb 2018 -- Leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan said a new pipeline being built between their countries is the start of a major new energy, road, and communications corridor connecting Central Asia with South Asia.
- Top Wall Street Firm Raises Russia's Rating Out Of 'Junk' Territory RFE/RL 24 Feb 2018 -- A top Wall Street credit agency has raised Russia's credit rating by a notch, lifting it out of "junk" territory to reflect what it said was Russia's improving economy and budgetary restraint.
- U.S. sanctions against Pyongyang involve Taiwanese national, companies CNA 24 Feb 2018 -- The new sanctions imposed by the United States against North Korea involved a Taiwanese citizen and two Taiwan-linked companies, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury.
- U.S. imposes heaviest sanctions on DPRK amid detente on Korean Peninsula People's Daily 24 Feb 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday announced what he called the "heaviest sanctions" on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a move that came amid signs of a growing rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula.
- China urges US to stop 'mistaken actions' on North Korea Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- China has warned the United States that its wrong policies on North Korea could seriously undermine cooperation between Beijing and Washington to contain Pyongyang's weapons program.
- Senior Russian diplomat calls for direct Russo-American talks on North Korea Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- A senior Russian diplomat says Russia and the United States should hold direct talks on North Korea.
- China Opposes US Korea-Related Sanctions, Urges Washington Not to Harm Relations Sputnik 24 Feb 2018 -- China has responded to the US' imposition of a new package of sanctions on North Korea, which also target Chinese entities and individuals.
- Tokyo Expresses Support to New US Sanctions Against North Korea - PM Adviser Sputnik 24 Feb 2018 -- Japan supports Washington's decision to impose another round of sanctions on North Korea over Pyongyang's ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, Kentaro Sonoura, the adviser of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday.
- China Reacts Angrily to New US Sanctions Against North Korea VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- China responded angrily Saturday to new sanctions the United States imposed on North Korea, maintaining they were counterproductive to efforts to halt Pyongyang's nuclear and long-range missile development programs.
- Zarif calls for US commitments under JCPOA IRNA 24 Feb 2018 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said here on Saturday that the US should be commuted to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal as soon as possible.
- Iran FM rejects all US conditions for JCPOA Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected as "improper" the conditions set by the United States for upholding the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement, urging Washington to immediately fulfill its commitments under the deal.
- US curbs bid to take Iran off FATF financial blacklist Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- The world's financial watchdog has extended a waiver for punitive measures against Iran for another six months but refused to remove the country from its blacklist.
- Iran FM Zarif: Daesh not over yet IRNA 24 Feb 2018 -- The idea that Daesh is over should not come to anybody, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said here on Saturday.
- Daesh not over, US relocating it: Iran's Zarif Press TV 24 Feb 2018 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States is regularly relocating Daesh terrorists to outside of the Middle East, where they had been based before losing all the territory they had occupied.
- Czech President Wants Hacking Suspect 'Extradited To Russia,' Not U.S. RFE/RL 24 Feb 2018 -- Czech President Milos Zeman has repeatedly lobbied for a suspected Russian hacker detained in Prague and wanted by the United States to be extradited to Russia, Justice Minister Robert Pelikan was quoted as saying on February 24.
- Concerns for Democracy in Venezuela US Dept. of State 24 Feb 2018 -- "The United States respects the decision by Venezuelan opposition parties, most recently the Democratic Unity Roundtable, to reject President Maduro's terms and conditions for April presidential elections.
- Zimbabwe's Opposition Names Acting Leader VOA 24 Feb 2018 -- Zimbabwe's main opposition party says its acting leader will stay at the helm following the death of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai earlier this month. But signs of internal division remain, something analysts say could handicap the opposition with elections just months away.
- Juncker Heads To Western Balkans To Discuss EU Strategy RFE/RL 24 Feb 2018 -- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is embarking on a Western Balkan tour to promote the EU's new strategy for the region.
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