13 March 2018 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 13 Mar 2018 [PDF]
- US Intelligence Official: Gains Against IS in Iraq, Syria Fragile VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- The U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State has been able to decimate the terror group's self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria but these gains could be easily undercut by continued instability, a U.S. intelligence official warned Tuesday.
- Defeat of ISIS 'Within Our Grasp,' Centcom Commander Says AFPS 13 Mar 2018 -- The United States and its partners have made significant progress in Iraq and Syria, but investments are needed to ensure the gains endure, the commander of U.S. Central Command said today.
- US Defense Secretary Mattis makes unannounced visit to Afghan capital Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has arrived in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, on an unannounced visit.
- Mattis Makes Surprise Kabul Visit, Sees 'Taliban Interest' In Peace Talks RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit to take stock of the war and the prospects of drawing some elements of the Taliban into peace talks with the Afghan government.
- US Defense Chief Makes Unannounced Visit to Kabul VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made an unannounced visit to Kabul Tuesday, in the first trip by a Trump administration official to Afghanistan since President Ashraf Ghani offered to hold peace talks with the Taliban.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Travis AFB beta tests lasers AFNS 13 Mar 2018 -- Travis Air Force Base, California, prides itself on leading the way in innovation and continues to look toward the future with a laser removal process that has enhanced the 60th Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance section's efficiency since the arrival of two lasers in April 2017.
- Air Force releases FY17 Air Force acquisition report AFNS 13 Mar 2018 -- Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson released the fiscal year 2017 Air Force Acquisition Annual Report March 13, 2018.
- Trump Salutes Military, Highlights Commitment to Increased Defense Spending AFPS 13 Mar 2018 -- President Donald J. Trump today thanked the men and women of the military for their service and highlighted his commitment to increased defense spending and national security in a speech at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
- Africom, Partners Fight Violent Extremists, Other Threats AFPS 13 Mar 2018 -- The U.S. military is working with its African partners to strengthen security and counter violent extremist organizations and other threats to the continent, the commander of U.S. Africa Command said at on Capitol Hill today.
- Readout of Secretary James N. Mattis' Meeting with Omani Sultan Qaboos and Minister of Defense Al Busaidi DoD 13 Mar 2018
- Submarines USS Hartford, USS Connecticut Surface Together in the Arctic Circle NNS 13 Mar 2018 -- Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) and Seawolf-class fast attack submarine, USS Connecticut (SSN 22) both surfaced in the Arctic Circle March 10 during the multinational maritime Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018 in the Arctic Circle north of Alaska.
- Expeditionary Fast Transport Ship to be Replaced for 2018 Pacific Partnership Mission NNS 13 Mar 2018 -- The expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4) will be replaced by USNS Brunswick (T-EPF-6) as the secondary mission platform for the 2018 Pacific Partnership mission due to emerging maintenance requirements.
- NATO Allies host Russian arms control inspectors NATO 13 Mar 2018 -- Today (13 March 2018), Estonia hosted Russian arms control inspectors, demonstrating Allies' ongoing commitment to transparency. The inspectors visited the Estonian Defence Forces 1st Infantry Brigade at Tapa military base, where NATO's multinational battlegroup is based.
- Moscow: NATO planning to create 'military Schengen' near Russia Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- A senior Russian military official says NATO has a new priority of creating a "military Schengen" to enable the rapid deployment of military forces and hardware near Russian borders.
- Philippines Buys Six US Reconnaissance Drones to Fight Jihadist Insurgency Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- The US sent Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's government six brand new unmanned aerial vehicles this week to provide another tool for suppressing domestic terror threats from insurgent groups like Abu Sayyaf.
- India Extends $100 Mln Defense Loan as Mauritius Seeks to Boost its Arsenal Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- New Delhi has often described Mauritius as key to the security architecture of the Indian Ocean Region. Moreover, both countries share unique historical and cultural ties, especially with the island in the Indian Ocean having a large population of ethnic Indians who were taken there by British colonizers to work as indentured laborers.
- New offshore patrol vessel named HMS Trent UK MOD 13 Mar 2018 -- HMS Trent, the third of the Royal Navy's five new Offshore Patrol Vessels, has been formally named at the Glasgow shipyard where she was built.
- Xi calls for deepened military-civilian integration People's Daily 13 Mar 2018 -- President Xi Jinping Monday stressed practical efforts to further deepen military-civilian integration to provide impetus and support for realizing the Chinese dream and the goal to build a strong military.
- J-20 stealth fighter's capabilities to be enhanced People's Daily 13 Mar 2018 -- China will continue to improve and upgrade its cutting-edge J-20 stealth fighter jet, giving it more capabilities than merely penetrating an enemy's air defense networks, according to its chief designer.
- Iran mainly focused on strengthening defense, deterrence power: defense minister ISNA 13 Mar 2018 -- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami held talks with Netherland's ambassador to Tehran Susanna Terstal on Tuesday.
- Iran will make utmost efforts to boost defense, deterrence power: Minister Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says the Islamic Republic will spare no effort to boost its defense and deterrent power.
- Black Hawk makes safe emergency landing in Kaohsiung CNA 13 Mar 2018 -- A Black Hawk helicopter from Taiwan's Army made an emergency landing in Kaohsiung on Tuesday after a warning light began to flash on its flight deck shortly after takeoff.
- Japan Patriot Battalion fields first operational Dismounted Patriot Information Coordination Central Army News 13 Mar 2018 -- The success of the United States Army is aided by consistent improvement in warfighting equipment. As a forward deployed Patriot Missile Battalion, the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment (1-1 ADA) continues to protect the force and selected assets from air and missile threats against U.S., our deployed forces and our allies and partners.
- Russia Agrees to Speed Air Defense System Delivery to Turkey Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- Russia will speed up the delivery of its S-400 air defense systems to Turkey at the latter's request, says Russian presidential aide Vladimir Kozhin.
- Turkey Debunks Reports on US Troops Withdrawal From Incirlik Airbase Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag has refuted media reports about US intentions to withdraw its troops from the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey.
- 13 March 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 13 Mar 2018
- Turkish Armed Forces Reportedly Lost Over 40 Servicemen Since Start of Afrin Op Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag announced that the country's armed forces had lost 42 soldiers since the start of the Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northern district of Afrin, while 202 servicemen had sustained injuries, local media reported on Tuesday.
- Turkish Foreign Minister Rules Out Use of S-400 Systems in Syria Operation Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- Turkey will not use Russian S-400 air defence systems during its operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday.
- Turkish Forces Encircle Center of Syria's Afrin in Operation Olive Branch Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- The Turkish military on Tuesday surrounded the Kurdish-held Syrian city of Afrin in the course of its Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish General Staff said.
- Turkish forces lay siege to Syria's key Kurdish town, civilians fleeing Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- Turkish forces and allied Syrian militants have laid siege to the main urban center of the Kurdish region of Afrin in northwestern Syria, forcing thousands of the civilian population in the city to escape their homes.
- Turkish Forces Surround Key Syrian Kurdish City VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- Turkish led forces are claiming to have surrounded the city of Afrin, home to several thousand people in northwestern Syria, and the main target of Turkey's Operation Olive Branch.
- Militants in Eastern Ghouta Provoke Syrian Army to Retaliate - Russian MoD Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- The Head of the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko held a daily briefing on Tuesday where he spoke about the situation in the suburb of Damascus, Eastern Ghouta.
- Syrian Army Troops Enter Damascus' Al-Qadam After Militants Evacuated to Idlib Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- A number of militants were successfully transfered from the Al-Qadam neighborhood in Damascus to Idlib province today, paving the way for units from the Syrian Army to move in and secure the area.
- MoD: Russia to Respond if its Military Threatened by Possible US Strike in Syria Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- After the false flag chemical weapons attack, the US planned to strike government held districts in Damascus as a "response," according to the Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov.
- Syria has taken all measures to alleviate suffering of civilians: UN envoy IRNA 13 Mar 2018 -- Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari, said that Syria has taken many measures to alleviate the suffering of civilians in al-Ghouta, including the opening of two humanitarian corridors to ensure their safe exit.
- Russia warns US against dire consequences of attacking Syria IRNA 13 Mar 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned the United States against attacking Syria, saying that if this happens, Washington will seriously face dire consequences.
- UN chief deplores failure to implement UN resolution on Syria People's Daily 13 Mar 2018 -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday deplored the failure to implement a Security Council resolution that demands cease-fire in Syria.
- Syrian army finds militants' chemical weapons workshop in Eastern Ghouta Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- Syrian army troops have discovered a workshop used by foreign-backed militants to manufacture toxic chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta, near the capital Damascus, according to Syrian state media.
- Turkey, US to oversee withdrawal of Kurds from Manbij: Cavusoglu Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- Turkey and the United States are set to oversee the withdrawal of Kurdish militants from the northern Syria city of Manbij, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says.
- Russian military to respond if US strikes Syria: Senior general Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- A top Russian general says his country will respond to a US strike on Syria, targeting any missiles and launchers involved in such an attack, if the lives of Russian servicemen are threatened.
- Russia Vows 'No Break' For Syrian Rebels In Ghouta RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that Syrian rebels under siege in the enclave of eastern Ghouta will be given no relief, saying a 30-day cease-fire approved by the United Nations does not include "terrorists."
- Syria conflict: 2017 deadliest year for children, UN aid official reports UN News 13 Mar 2018 -- More than 900 children in Syria were killed last year, making 2017 the deadliest year for children in the country's ongoing conflict, a senior United Nations official told the Geneva-based Human Rights Council on Tuesday, warning that the grim statistics may only be the tip of the iceberg.
- UN urges new, 'post-ISIL' Iraq to draw on diversity, support religious minorities UN News 13 Mar 2018 -- As Iraq rebuilds after defeating a terrorist group, the country must draw on its religious diversity and protect minorities, including Yezidi and Christians, a senior United Nations official has said.
- UN: Myanmar government destroying Rakhine's Rohingya Muslims Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- The UN Secretary General's Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide says all the evidence he has received shows that the Myanmar government tried to utterly destroy Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.
- Myanmar says UN reports on rights violations lack credibility Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- Myanmar's government has once again rejected allegations of abusing the rights of minorities in the country, saying the United Nations' new findings on the issue are unreliable.
- Rohingyas could face further violence if they return to Myanmar, UN adviser warns UN News 13 Mar 2018 -- International crimes were committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and those who fled the country could face further persecution if they return now, a senior United Nations official said Tuesday.
- Nine Indian Security Personnel Killed in Blast Allegedly Triggered by Insurgents Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- The insurgents, inspired by China's revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, are considered as the country's most serious internal security threat.
- Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, will replace him with Pompeo Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- US President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after a series of public rifts over issues including Iran, Russia and North Korea, replacing his top diplomat with CIA Director and former congressman Mike Pompeo.
- Trump Dismisses Tillerson, Names Pompeo Secretary Of State RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump says he has dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and is nominating Mike Pompeo, the current head of the CIA, to replace him as the top U.S. diplomat.
- Exit Rex: Tillerson's Brief, Tumultuous Tenure As America's Chief Diplomat RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- With the announcement of President Donald Trump's firing of the United States' top diplomat, Rex Tillerson's tenure as secretary of state now enters the history books as one of the shortest ever for a new administration.
- Remarks in Press Briefing Room US Dept. of State 13 Mar 2018 -- Remarks by Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State
- Trump Fires Tillerson, Picks CIA Chief Pompeo to Succeed Him VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- President Donald Trump has fired his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and picked CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace him.
- Tillerson Blindsided, Fired by Trump as US Top Diplomat VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo came as a surprise to the top diplomat.
- Tillerson's Firing Worries Some Africa Experts VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- The State Department had billed Secretary Rex Tillerson's first diplomatic trip to Africa as a mission to reaffirm U.S. collaboration with the continent on counterterrorism, development and good governance.
- Congressional Leaders Voice Mixed Reviews of Trump's National Security Shakeup VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- President Donald Trump's abrupt shakeup of his national security team Tuesday drew a decidedly mixed reaction from top congressional leaders, as some assailed chaotic foreign policy decision-making at the White House.
- Initially Praised, CIA's Pompeo Became Polarizing Figure in Intel Community VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- Long-rumored to be in the works, U.S. President Donald Trump finally fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Tuesday, naming Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo to take his place.
- Trump's Choice for CIA Director Courts Respect, Controversy VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- The woman tapped to be the United States' first female spymaster is proving to be a lightning rod, earning praise from many from across the intelligence community and suspicion from lawmakers and others who question her role in the use of tactics that some say amounted to torture.
- U.S. House Republicans Say Probe Found No Collusion Between Russia, Trump RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- Republicans on the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee say the panel has finished investigating Russia's involvement in the 2016 election, and concluded there was no collusion between the Kremlin and President Donald Trump's campaign.
- Republicans ending Trump-Russia investigation, say no evidence found Press TV 12 Mar 2018 -- The House Intelligence Committee has concluded a year-long investigation of possible collusion between US President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, announcing that there was "no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians."
- Trump Welcomes House Panel Finding of No Election Collusion With Russia VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he is "very, very happy" that the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee concluded that his 2016 election campaign did not collude with Russia to help him win a four-year term in the White House.
- Remarks by President Trump After Review of Border Wall Prototypes | San Diego, CA The White House 13 Mar 2018
- Russia Destroyed Stocks of Nerve Agent UK Claimed Was Used to Kill Ex-Spy - MP Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- Russia not only stopped the production of the Novichok nerve agent, but also destroyed all its reserves, as confirmed by international observers of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), security services veteran, Russian upper house lawmaker Igor Morozov told Sputnik on Tuesday.
- Russian Fugitive Ex-Businessman Dies in London at 68 Sputnik 13 Mar 2018 -- The death of Russian national Nikolai Glushkov has been reported by his friend on Facebook; the deceased man moved to the United Kingdom in 2010 after being convicted of embezzlement and money laundering in Russia.
- Trump Stops Short of Blaming Russia Over Former Spy Poisoning VOA 13 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged Tuesday British evidence that the Russians may have been behind the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in England, but he stopped short of blaming Moscow "until we get the facts straight."
- Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom The White House 13 Mar 2018
- Trump calls for 'unambiguous answers' from Moscow on ex-spy attack Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- US President Donald Trump has called on Moscow to provide "unambiguous answers" about the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England.
- Russia 'not guilty' in poisoning ex-double agent in UK: FM Lavrov Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has strongly rejected the UK's accusation that Moscow was behind the poisoning of a former double agent in Britain, saying his respective country "is not guilty" in the incident.
- Russia responsible for nerve agent attack on spy in UK: Tillerson Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Russia must be held responsible for the recent nerve agent attack that nearly killed a former spy in the UK.
- U.S. 'Outraged' Over 'Likely' Poisoning By Russia, Warns Of 'Certain' Allied Response RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States is "outraged" over what he said was Russia's likely poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Britain, and warned that Moscow "certainly will" face an allied response over the matter.
- U.S., Britain Agree Russia Must Provide Answers On Chemical Attack RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed with British Prime Minister Theresa May that Moscow must provide "unambiguous answers" about how a Russian-developed chemical agent was used against a former Russian spy in Britain, the White House said on March 13.
- Q&A: French Expert Says Novichok Toxin Is 'Clearly A Direct Link To Russia' RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- Novichok, the toxic nerve agent that British authorities believe was used in the near-fatal poisoning of former spy and retired Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, is a powerful substance that is exceedingly difficult to manufacture.
- Police Investigating Death Of Russian Businessman In London RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- A lawyer says a Russian businessman who associated with a prominent critic of the Kremlin has died in London.
- UK probing exile death of Russian amid spy case row with Moscow Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- British police have announced it is investigating the death of a Russian businessman with links to a former Kremlin critic amid increasing tensions between London and Moscow over a nerve agent attack on a double spy in Britain earlier this month.
- Former Moldovan Lawmaker Sentenced To 14 Years For Spying For Russia RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- A former member of the Moldovan parliament has been sentenced to 14 years in prison on charges of high reason and espionage for Russia.
- Xi expects smooth DPRK-ROK summit, DPRK-U.S. dialogue People's Daily 13 Mar 2018 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met Monday with Chung Eui-yong, top national security advisor for the President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Moon Jae-in, in Beijing.
- China unveils cabinet reshuffle plan People's Daily 13 Mar 2018 -- China on Tuesday unveiled a massive cabinet reshuffle plan to make the government better-structured, more efficient, and service-oriented.
- US in no place to set conditions for Iran nuclear deal: Zarif Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States is "in no position" to set conditions for the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.
- Trump calls Iran 'threat' to US, renews sanctions for another year Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- US President Donald Trump has extended sanctions against Iran for another year, claiming that the Islamic Republic continues to pose "an unusual and extraordinary" threat to America.
- Nawaz Sharif's brother formally picked as PML-N chief Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- The younger brother of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has formally taken charge of the country's ruling party, two weeks after he was appointed as interim chief of the party.
- Contentious electoral bill passes Turkish parliament, brawl erupts at legislature Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- Turkish lawmakers have approved controversial legislation that will overhaul existing electoral regulations, amid angry reactions by opposition politicians who say the new law would facilitate fraud.
- Top U.S. Official Warns Of 'Destructive' Russian Role In Balkans RFE/RL 13 Mar 2018 -- A senior U.S. official has warned of what he called Moscow's "increasingly destructive role" in the Balkans, saying that Russia is undermining democracy in the region.
- UN agency issues refugee protection guidance for thousands of Venezuelans fleeing crisis-torn country UN News 13 Mar 2018 -- As deepening economic woes force thousands of Venezuelans to flee the crisis-gripped country, the United Nations on Tuesday issued guidance on treating the population as "refugees," while the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned that the outflow into neighboring countries such as Colombia constitutes a "humanitarian disaster."
- Egypt activists take int'l legal action against island deal with Saudi Arabia Press TV 13 Mar 2018 -- Egyptian activists have filed a lawsuit with the African Union against a controversial agreement that cedes the sovereignty of two Egyptian Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
- New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS US Dept. of Justice 13 Mar 2018 -- Gregory Lepsky, 20, of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today to an information charging him with one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Lepsky admitted that he planned to construct and use a pressure cooker bomb in New York on behalf of ISIS.
- American Citizen Sentenced To 45 Years for Conspiring to Murder U.S. Nationals and Providing Material Support to Al-Qaeda US Dept. of Justice 13 Mar 2018 -- Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh, 32, of Houston, was sentenced today to 45 years following his Sept. 29, 2017 trial conviction of multiple offenses covering seven years of terrorist conduct, including conspiracy to murder American military personnel in Afghanistan, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to bomb a government facility and providing material support to al-Qaeda.
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