18 March 2018 Military News
- Taliban Skeptical of Afghan Government's Peace Offer VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- The Afghan Taliban say they are deeply skeptical that a proposed three-nation conference in Indonesia will be a step toward peace.
- Grenade attack injures 5 students in Shia district of Afghan capital Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- An attacker has set off a grenade among a group of university students in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, killing himself and wounding five students.
- Pakistan: Afghan Peace Offer to Taliban 'Light at End of Tunnel' VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- Pakistan has conveyed to the leadership in Afghanistan its opinion that the Taliban are left with no "excuse or justification for continuing war" following Kabul's offer of unconditional peace talks.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Cambodia Joins China for Military Drills as US Relations Cool VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- Hundreds of Cambodian and Chinese soldiers began a 15-day joint military exercise in central Cambodia this week, involving live-fire rocket launches from helicopters, mock tank battles, and anti-terrorism and emergency relief training. China will reportedly also donate tanks and armored personnel carriers on the occasion.
- Cambodia, China launch joint drill on anti-terrorism, humanitarian rescue People's Daily 18 Mar 2018 -- Cambodia and China launched the second joint drill on counter-terrorism and humanitarian rescue at a training field in the Maras Prov Mountains on Saturday.
- Pence Tells Abbasi That Pakistan Must Do More To Defeat Militants RFE/RL 18 Mar 2018 -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that his country should work more closely with the United States and do more to defeat the Taliban and other militants, the White House said.
- Syrian Kurds Vow 'New Phase' of War Against Turkish Forces in Afrin VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the center of Afrin is entirely under the control of Turkish and allied Syrian forces and that Turkish flags have been raised over the town.
- YPG forces to shift from direct confrontation to guerrilla tactics: Afrin official Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- The administration of Syria's Kurdish-populated northwestern Afrin region has indicated that members of the US-backed People's Protection Units (YPG) militants will shift from direct confrontation to guerrilla tactics in their battles against Turkish military forces and allied militants from the so-called Free Syrian Army.
- Erdogan: Turkish troops capture center of Syria's Afrin Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkish troops and their militant allies have entered the Syrian city of Afrin and taken control of its center after Kurdish militia pulled out.
- Erdogan: Turkish Flags Raised Over Syrian Town VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the center of Afrin is entirely under the control of Turkish and allied Syrian forces and that Turkish flags have been raised over the town.
- Large militant outfit in Syria's Ghouta in talks with UN about ceasefire: Statement Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- One of the main militant groups active in Syria's Eastern Ghouta says it is negotiating with the United Nations about a ceasefire, as the government troops constantly shrink the militant-held areas of the flashpoint region.
- Syrian army gives Takfiri militants in Harasta ultimatum to withdraw by mid-afternoon Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- The Syrian army has given foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists operating inside Harasta town of the militant-held Eastern Ghouta enclave to withdraw till 3 p.m. local time (1300 GMT) on Sunday.
- Syrian Su-24 Allegedly Shot Down Near Qalamoun Mountains - Free Syrian Army Sputnik 18 Mar 2018 -- Jaysh Tahrir al-Sham rebels have shot down a regime warplane over the Eastern Qalamoon mountains after launching a new wave of attack, Free Syrian Army reported.
- Over 73,000 People Left E Ghouta During Humanitarian Pauses - Russian MoD Sputnik 18 Mar 2018 -- Over 73,000 civilians have left Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta in Syria since the opening of humanitarian corridors, the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Syrian reconciliation said in a statement.
- Rohingya Muslims reject Myanmar terms of repatriation Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- A local Rohingya leader says members of persecuted Rohingya Muslims holed up in a border "no-man's-land" after fleeing Myanmar's Rakhine state will only accept repatriation to their home villages.
- ASEAN, Australia leaders press Myanmar over Rohingya crisis Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been grilled by world leaders over her inaction regarding the persecution of the minority Rohingya Muslims in her country.
- Trump Assails Special Counsel Mueller as Politically Biased in Russia Probe VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump is assailing special counsel Robert Mueller, accusing him of political bias in his investigation of Trump's 2016 election campaign links to Russia and whether the president obstructed justice in trying to thwart the probe.
- Trump Hails Firing Of FBI Deputy Director Amid Opposition Criticism RFE/RL 18 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the firing of the FBI's deputy director, but Democrats and other critics attacked it as a politically motivated, vindictive move, as partisan rancor hightened over the controversial decision.
- Boris Johnson says Russia has stockpiled nerve agents for past 10 years Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has accused Russia of stockpiling nerve agents "within the last 10 years," to allegedly use it for assassination.
- Britain Accuses Russia Of Stockpiling Novichok Nerve Agent RFE/RL 18 Mar 2018 -- British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has accused Russia of stockpiling a nerve agent believed to have been used in an attack on a Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain.
- UK Has Evidence Russia Stockpiling Novichok for 10 Years - Boris Johnson Sputnik 18 Mar 2018 -- The United Kingdom will give the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) samples of the poisonous substance used in the Skripal case, said Boris Johnson in BBC prime time.
- Boris Johnson Slams Moscow's Response to Expulsion of Russian Diplomats From UK Sputnik 18 Mar 2018 -- UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson believes that Russia's retaliatory measures taken after London's decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats in connection with the Salisbury incident will only harm Russians.
- UK Police Open Murder Investigation Over Death of Russian Businessman Glushkov Sputnik 18 Mar 2018 -- UK Metropolitan Police said that they had opened a murder investigation after the death of Nikolai Glushkov, a former top manager of Russian Aeroflot airline, in London.
- Russia Comes Up With More Poisoning Theories VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- As the dispute between Britain and Russia mounted Saturday over the poisoning on British soil of a former Russian spy, with the Kremlin announcing the expulsion of 23 British diplomats, Russia's foreign ministry came up with yet another theory about the origin of the toxin used.
- Putin wins fourth term as Russia's president with 73.9% of vote: Exit poll Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has scored a landslide re-election victory for the fourth time with 73.9 percent of votes, according to an exit poll by state-owned pollster, VTsIOM.
- Exit Poll says Putin Easily Wins Russian Presidential Vote VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- Exit polls in Russia say President Vladimir Putin has won another term in office, winning more than 73 percent of the vote.
- Putin Expected To Sail To Fourth Term; Voter Turnout The Only Question RFE/RL 18 Mar 2018 -- Voters in Russia are casting ballots in a presidential election that is all but certain to secure President Vladimir Putin a fourth term in office.
- Evolving 'Super Candidate' Putin Strategizing for 'Super Majority' Turnout VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- In a Russian presidential campaign season in which Kremlin officials have insisted that candidates abide by federal election laws, numerous news outlets have reported President Vladimir Putin's exception to the rule.
- U.S. Senator Says Trump Likely To Withdraw From Iran Deal RFE/RL 18 Mar 2018 -- A senior U.S. senator says he believes President Donald Trump will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in May.
- China calls on US to 'correct mistake' on Taiwan Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- Beijing has called on Washington to "correct its mistake" following a move by US President Donald Trump to approve high-level contacts between officials from US and Taiwan, which China claims sovereignty over.
- US Taiwan Travel Act Sends Wrong Signal to 'Separatists' - Chinese Ministry Sputnik 18 Mar 2018 -- New US Taiwan Travel Act sends a false signal to the "separatist" forces of Taiwan and violates the principle of "One-China" Policy, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Sunday.
- China lodges representations with US over Taiwan Travel Act People's Daily 18 Mar 2018 -- China has lodged stern representations with the United States over a Taiwan-related bill, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said over the weekend.
- Xi signs presidential decree to appoint Li Keqiang as premier People's Daily 18 Mar 2018 -- Li Keqiang was endorsed as Chinese premier Sunday morning at the ongoing first session of the 13th National People's Congress, the country's national legislature.
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Re-Elected for Second Term Sputnik 18 Mar 2018 -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was re-elected on Sunday by the National People's Congress (NPC) for his second term in the office.
- China launches land exploration satellite into space People's Daily 18 Mar 2018 -- China launched a land exploration satellite into a preset orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert of the country's northwest at 3:10 p.m. Saturday.
- North Korean diplomat leaves for Finland to attend Western-dominated meeting Press TV 18 Mar 2018 -- A North Korean diplomat is on his way to Finland to attend a meeting with former Western and South Korean officials as tensions ease on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program.
- South Korea: North Korean and Former US Diplomats to Meet in Finland VOA 18 Mar 2018 -- South Korean media said Sunday a senior North Korean diplomat is headed to Finland to meet with former U.S. diplomats, this after a North Korean delegation wrapped up three days of talks with Swedish diplomats that could lead to a possible meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
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