28 February 2018 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 28 Feb 2018 [PDF]
- At Least Five Police Killed, 30 People Kidnapped In Southern Afghanistan RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- Afghan officials say at least five police officers have been killed and 30 other people abducted in two separate incidents in the south of the country.
- 'Accept Peace To Safeguard Afghanistan,' President Tells Taliban RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has proposed the recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group, as part of a process that could lead to peace negotiations and put an end to more than 16 years of fighting.
- Afghan president offers direct talks with Taliban Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called on the Taliban militant group to join peace talks "without preconditions," even as he called on the outfit to accept the rule of law.
- Afghan President Offers Recognition of Taliban as Political Group - Reports Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has offered to recognize the Taliban movement as a political group in order to involve it in the peace process in the conflict-torn country, the TOLO news broadcaster reported.
- UN mission welcomes Afghan Government's proposal for peace talks with Taliban UN News 28 Feb 2018 -- The United Nations mission in Afghanistan on Wednesday welcomed the Government's renewed call for unconditional peace talks with the Taliban and expressed strong support for its vision for peace.
- Ghani Offers Unconditional Talks, Legitimacy to Afghan Taliban VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has offered unconditional peace talks to the Taliban, as well as the chance of recognizing them as a legitimate political party and withdrawing their names from international sanctions lists, if they agreed to join a peace process and give up violence.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Stratcom Commander Discusses Strategic Deterrence Mission AFPS 28 Feb 2018 -- Adversaries are evolving, and the United States needs to stay ahead of these threats to ensure it never enters a "fair fight," the commander of U.S. Strategic Command said here today.
- Trump White House Seeks Largest-Ever Black Ops Budget Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- US President Donald Trump's administration is requesting an $81.1 billion "black budget" to finance secret US intelligence operations, according to recent announcements made by the Pentagon and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
- Seabees Construct Maintenance Warehouse in Bahrain NNS 28 Feb 2018 -- Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 turned over a pre-engineered building (PEB) project to NMCB 11 in Bahrain.
- US General: 'Russia Threatens Our Ability to Dominate Airspace' in Middle East Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- In his statement to the US House Armed Services Committee, General Joseph Votel elaborated on key military challenges to the US in the Middle East.
- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer Visits Norfolk Naval Shipyard NNS 28 Feb 2018 -- Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Richard V. Spencer, made his first visit to Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) Feb. 20. Spencer met with shipyard leadership to learn about NNSY's optimization plan, facility needs and employee training and development programs.
- US training EU armies to nuke Russia: Lavrov Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States of hurdling international nuclear disarmament efforts by training European armies to use tactical nuclear weapons against Russia.
- US Training European Military to Use Nuclear Weapons Against Russia - Russian FM Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- The Conference on Disarmament, which takes place between February 26 and March 2, in Geneva, Switzerland, is a multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community.
- Tokyo Believes Russia Boosting Military Activity Near Japan - Defense Minister Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Tokyo believes Moscow is boosting its military activity around Japan, and it may be linked to Japan joining international sanctions against Russia, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Wednesday.
- UK and Germany work towards stronger defence relationship UK MOD 28 Feb 2018 -- Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has hosted his counterpart Ursula Von der Leyen in the UK for the first time.
- China Wants to Build a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier Within 7 Years Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- China's military wants to field its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier by the middle of the next decade, according to a new report.
- (No) Smoking Gun: Almost Half of German Army's Weapons Unfit for Duty - Report Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Recent findings underscore the deep-seated problems haunting the German armed forces.
- Iran's IRGC unveils new domestically-made anti-armor missile Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has unveiled a new domestically-manufactured anti-armor missile that can be mounted on combat helicopters.
- Western Powers Condemn Iran Over Alleged Arms-Embargo Violations RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- Four Western powers have condemned Iran for allegedly violating an arms embargo on Yemen a day after Russia vetoed a UN resolution taking aim at Tehran over the same issue.
- Iran to use drones, choppers more: IRGC Cmdr IRNA 28 Feb 2018 -- Iran will use drones and helicopters more often, said the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) commander on Wednesday.
- IRGC launches 3 specialized centers IRNA 28 Feb 2018 -- Three specialized centers of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps were inaugurated on Wednesday.
- Iraq Negotiating Purchase of S-400 Systems, Sanctions Hinder Efforts - FM Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Iraq is negotiating the purchase of S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia, possible US sanctions are an obstacle to that, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari told Sputnik on Wednesday.
- Israel Tries to Block Iranian Military Approach to Country's Borders - Lawmaker Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Israel is taking all the possible measures to prevent Iran's military expansion closer to the Israeli northern border via Syria, Nachman Shai, a member of the Knesset, told Sputnik on Wednesday.
- Outnumbered, Outgunned: Pakistan's Navy Practices Fighting Larger Forces Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Pakistan has launched major naval exercises to practice warfare against a numerically superior foe. Analysts have observed that the exercises are the latest thrust from Islamabad to improve their naval warfighting capabilities as tensions with India and the US (which happen to be numerically superior forces) ramp up.
- South Korea, US 'to resume joint drills in early April' despite warning by North Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- South Korea and the United States have decided to launch a postponed joint military exercise despite warnings by North Korea that the move may jeopardize a nascent rapprochement between Pyongyang and Seoul.
- Poroshenko Expects Sophisticated U.S. Weapons 'Within Weeks' RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says the first delivery of lethal defensive weaponry from the United States is expected in weeks.
- Saudi strikes kill 9 more people in Yemen Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- Saudi Arabia has launched a fresh round of airstrikes targeting civilian areas across Yemen as reports suggest at least nine people have been killed.
- Turkish PM Confirms Cutting Off Kurdish YPG Militia From Border With Syria Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has confirmed that Ankara's military operation in the northern Syrian district of Afrin has resulted in the partial surrounding of the city controlled by the Kurds and Kurdish militias being cut off from the Syrian-Turkish border.
- Turkey Resists International Calls to Abide by UN Syria Cease-Fire VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- Turkey is pushing back against international calls for it to abide by a U.N.-backed cease-fire in Syria. The U.N. call for a truce comes as Ankara continues to escalate its offensive in the Syrian enclave of Afrin against the YPG Kurdish militia.
- After 40 Days Under Turkish Fire, Kurds in Syria's Afrin Still Refuse to Give Up Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- As Olive Branch operation in Syria's Afrin has entered its 40th day, the spirit of resistance is now recalling Kobane town, which stood up to terrorists in 2014, Garib Huso, co-chair of the public relations committee of the so-called Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, or Rojava (a de facto autonomous region) told Sputnik.
- Turkey Slams US for Distorting UN Resolution on Syria Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- The US State Department's recent statement accusing Turkey of violating the UNSC resolution on the Syrian truce by continuing its operation in Afrin undermines the essence of this resolution, the Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Wednesday.
- UN Aid Chief: Syria Cease-Fire Yet to Be Implemented VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- The U.N. humanitarian chief said Wednesday that a 30-day cease-fire across Syria had not been implemented, and he asked the Security Council when it would be put into effect.
- Russia Accuses Syrian Rebels of Blocking Humanitarian Plan While Fighting Continues VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday rebels in the eastern Ghouta area of Syria are blocking aid deliveries and preventing people from leaving during what Russia has called a daily "humanitarian pause" in its military operations.
- Airstrikes, shelling continue in Syria despite Security Council's ceasefire call – top UN officials UN News 28 Feb 2018 -- Despite the Security Council's demand for a ceasefire throughout Syria, violence continues to plague the war-ravaged country, worsening the humanitarian situation and the suffering of its people, top United Nations political and relief officials said Wednesday, calling on all parties to the conflict to "fulfil their obligations to end the fighting."
- Russia's patience with Ghouta militants not indefinite: Putin Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that his patience with militant attacks in Syria's Ghouta region is not indefinite, as terrorist groups positioned in the Damascus suburb continue to shell the capital indiscriminately.
- Syria denies possession of chemical weapons Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- Syria has denied allegations of possessing chemical weapons, stressing that the foreign-backed Takfiri terrorist groups operating in the country, including al-Nusra and Daesh, have obtained some stocks.
- Militants, sponsors must act to make Syria truce work: Russia FM Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- Russia says it has done its part to usher in calm in the militant-besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, where it has announced a humanitarian pause, saying the ball is now in the court of militants and their supporters to make the truce in Syria work.
- Amid Outcry Over Ghouta, Russia Vows To Back Assad Against 'Terror Threat' RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Moscow will continue to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to defeat what he called the "terrorist threat."
- U.S.: Russia 'On Wrong Side Of History' On Syrian Chemical Weapons RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- A senior U.S. disarmament official says Russia has violated its commitments as guarantor of the destruction of Syria's chemical-weapons stockpile and failed to prevent President Bashar al-Assad's government from using them.
- Terrorists Continue Offensive in Aleppo, Latakia, Daraa Provinces - Russian MoD Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- The Russian Center for the Syrian Reconciliation reported Wednesday that militants from illegal armed groups controlling the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus fired 13 mortar rounds at residential areas of the Syrian capital over the past 24 hours.
- Syria Cannot Use Chemical Weapons Because It Has None - Syrian Envoy to UN Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- The Syrian Envoy to the United Nations Hussam Edin Aala has addressed the participants of the conference on disarmament, commenting on the accusations against Damascus on the use of chemical weapons.
- Satellite Images Reveal Iran Establishing Missile Base Near Damascus - Reports Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Recent satellite imagery taken outside Syria's capital Damascus show that Iran has constructed a likely missile base that can strike anywhere in Israel, according to media reports.
- Iran's Army Aviation kills 13 members of PJAK terrorist group ISNA 28 Feb 2018 -- The commander of Iran's Army Ground Force announced that the Islamic Republic of Iran Army Aviation killed 13 members of the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) terrorist group.
- Libya: Tawerghans must not be held hostage to political crisis, UN says, urging safe return UN News 28 Feb 2018 -- The United Nations and its partners in Libya have called for the voluntary, safe and dignified return of the population displaced from the northern town of Tawergha without a delay, expressing deep concern about the situation faced by these people living in makeshift-tented settlements in nearby areas.
- US Lawmakers Face Pressure on Rohingya Crisis VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- With no end in sight to the Rohingya refugee crisis, faith leaders and advocacy groups fanned out across Capitol Hill on Wednesday to pressure U.S. lawmakers to fast-track legislation punishing Myanmar's government and demanding better treatment of the country's Muslim minority.
- Top UN aid official calls for urgent support for Chad UN News 28 Feb 2018 -- A senior United Nations aid official has called for urgent funding to support 4.4 million people in Chad, including refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, as well as the communities hosting them.
- EU reiterates call on Kosovo to accept border deal to join Schengen Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has conditioned Kosovo's possible accession to the European visa-free travel zone known as Schengen on accepting a border demarcation agreement with Montenegro and improved ties with Serbia.
- South Sudan Rebels: Government Forces Killed Rebel Base Commander VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- A commander allied to South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar was killed during clashes in Yei River state on Monday.
- Kushner, other White House aides lose security clearance Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior aide Jared Kushner has been stripped of his top security clearance, according to sources familiar with the matter.
- Attorney General Sessions Pushes Back at Trump After President Assails Him VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed back at President Donald Trump on Wednesday after Trump said it was "disgraceful" that Sessions had called for an internal investigation of how officials sought approval for clandestine surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide.
- Ex-Trump campaign manager Manafort pleads not guilty in Russia probe Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- US President Donald Trump's former election campaign chairman Paul Manafort has plead not guilty to new charges he acted as an unregistered foreign agent and directed an international money-laundering conspiracy.
- Manafort Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has pleaded not guilty to a new set of charges that were filed against him last week by special counsel Robert Mueller, who has been probing Russian interference in the U.S. election.
- Spy Chief Says U.S. Response Hasn't Deterred Russian Meddling RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has not ordered or authorized intelligence agencies to retaliate against Russian meddling and disinformation campaigns, resulting in a response that has not deterred Moscow, a top U.S. intelligence official has testified.
- Trump Decides Not to Build California Part of Mexico Wall Until Project Approved Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- President Donald Trump said in a statement on Wednesday he will not approve the start of construction on a border wall in California until Congress fully funds his plans to construct a barrier across the entire southern US border.
- Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, Coordinator for Counterterrorism on the Conference on Mobilizing Law Enforcement Efforts to Defeat ISIS US Dept. of State 28 Feb 2018 -- Special Briefing by Nathan A. Sales, Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism
- 'Nastya Rybka,' Detained In Thailand And Alleging Russian Threat, Seeks U.S. Asylum RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- The woman at the center of Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's recent report about an alleged meeting between billionaire Oleg Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko has asked for political asylum from the U.S. Embassy in Thailand, where she and an associate were detained after a police raid on a "sex training" seminar.
- Suspected Russian Cocaine Trafficker Blames U.S. For Argentina Bust RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- A man the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claims was behind an alleged attempt to smuggle nearly 400 kilograms of cocaine from Argentina to Moscow is claiming he is the victim of a set-up by U.S. intelligence and Argentinian police, Russian media report.
- US Slams, China Praises Pakistan's Counterterror Efforts Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Relations between the US and Pakistan continue to fray over whether or not Pakistan is too soft on Islamic terrorist groups operating within their borders – while Pakistan's "all weather friend" China continues to praise and defend their ally.
- Deadly Suicide Attack Targets Quetta, Pakistan VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- A suicide bomb attack near Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta has killed at least four paramilitary soldiers and wounded about eight others.
- Editorial: CPC at the core of China's leadership People's Daily 28 Feb 2018 -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) is at the core of China's leadership, and it is the inevitable choice and result of the social revolution historically, theoretically and practically, the People's Daily Online said in an editorial published on Feb. 26.
- Liu's US visit designed to ease tensions People's Daily 28 Feb 2018 -- Analysts say there are hopes a visit to the United States beginning Tuesday by a high-ranking Chinese official will ease trade tensions and maintain steady bilateral ties.
- Iran braces up for aftermath of Trump deadline Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- An Iranian minister said on Wednesday the country needs $180 billion of investment to lurch ahead at a steady growth rate of 8 percent amid uncertainty because of hostile US rhetoric.
- Senator Ed Markey concerned as US mulls nuclear deal with Riyadh Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- US Senator Ed Markey has expressed concern over the Trump administration's efforts to sign a nuclear cooperation deal with Saudi Arabia for the construction of nuclear reactors.
- Long March 11 carrier rockets to be used in country's first sea launch People's Daily 28 Feb 2018 -- China's Long March 11 carrier rockets will be deployed for the country's first sea launch mission later this year, their developer China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said on Feb. 27, Science and Technology Daily reported.
- Russia's Energomash Successfully Tests RD-180 Engine Made for US Atlas Rocket Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Tests of a Russian RD-180 liquid-fuel rocket engine have been carried out in the Science and Test Complex of Russia's NPO Energomash, the company said Wednesday in a statement.
- Independence referendum launched, backed by former presidents CNA 28 Feb 2018 -- Former presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) voiced their support on Wednesday for an initiative to hold a referendum in April 2019 on Taiwan independence.
- MAC responds to China's incentive measures for Taiwanese people CNA 28 Feb 2018 -- Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Wednesday that a set of measures put forth by China to court Taiwan's people is just a renewed effort to offer benefits in exchange for political loyalty toward Beijing.
- China committed to peaceful reunification: official CNA 28 Feb 2018 -- The Chinese government remains committed to the promotion of peaceful reunification of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, as it seeks to abolish term limits on the presidency to allow current President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely, according to China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO).
- Theresa May rejects EU's plan for Northern Ireland border, says will never agree to it Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- British Prime Minister Theresa May says a European Union draft proposal for Northern Ireland's border threatens the "constitutional integrity" of the UK, and that she will "never" agree to it
- Sturgeon: Scottish Parliament will refuse to sign EU exit bill Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says Edinburgh will refuse to agree to London's planned Brexit deal with the European Union, arguing that the exit bill would undermine the whole foundation on which the UK devolution system was built.
- New UK-EU Customs Union Would Be Betrayal of Brexit Vote - May Sputnik 28 Feb 2018 -- Agreeing on a new comprehensive customs union with the European Union would betray the vote of the UK people on Brexit, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday.
- Lebanese PM visits Riyadh for 1st time since shock 'resignation' Press TV 28 Feb 2018 -- Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has traveled to Saudi Arabia for the first time since last November when he announced a surprise resignation live on television from Riyadh only to rescind it later upon arriving home.
- Juncker Warns Bosnian Leaders Against Nationalism RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has urged Bosnia-Herzegovina's leaders to overcome their differences if they want the country to join the European Union.
- Montenegro To Open Two New Negotiating Chapters With EU RFE/RL 28 Feb 2018 -- Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic has said he expects to open two new negotiating chapters on justice and the judiciary early this year to further Montenegro's bid to join the European Union.
- South Africa Explores Constitutional Change to Allow Land Seizures VOA 28 Feb 2018 -- South Africa's parliament voted Tuesday to examine how to amend the constitution to allow land seizures without compensation, a move that resonates deeply in a nation where the white minority still controls much of the farmland.
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