21 March 2018 Military News
- AFRICOM: US Airstrike in Somalia Kills 2 Militants VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- A U.S. airstrike in southern Somalia this week killed two al-Shabab militants and wounded three others, according to the U.S. Africa Command.
- Suicide Bombing Kills 31 in Afghan Capital VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- Afghan officials say a suicide blast has killed at least 31 people and wounded more than 65 others in Kabul.
- Chairman Expresses Enthusiasm About Military Dimension in Afghanistan AFPS 21 Mar 2018 -- The hard work of Afghan and coalition personnel in the train, advise, assist strategy is already paying off, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is encouraged by the progress.
- 26 dead, 18 wounded in bomb blast near Afghan capital shrine Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- At least 26 people have been killed after Daesh terrorists carried out a bomb attack near a shrine in the Afghan capital of Kabul where people had gathered to celebrate Nowruz marking the start of the Persian New Year.
- Dozens Killed In New Year Attack In Kabul RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- Afghan officials say a suicide attack outside a Shi'ite mosque in Kabul killed at least 29 people and wounded dozens, as people in the capital celebrated the new year holiday Norouz. .
- Daesh Reportedly Claims Responsibility for Deadly Kabul Blast Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Explosion occurred in Kabul on Wednesday, next to the University of Kabul, and left at least 26 dead and 18 people injured, the Interior Ministry of Afghanistan told Sputnik.
- UN condemns attack that kills dozens near shrine in Kabul UN News 21 Mar 2018 -- The United Nations strongly condemned the deadly attack earlier Wednesday in the Afghan capital, Kabul, near a major religious shrine where people had gathered to celebrate Nowruz – the traditional New Year and the arrival of spring.
Defense Policy / Programs
- SECAF: Accelerating defendable space, multi-domain operations key to future readiness AFNS 21 Mar 2018 -- Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee about the Air Force's fiscal year 2019 budget March 20, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
- Joint U.S.-Israel Exercise Juniper Cobra 2018 Concludes AFPS 21 Mar 2018 -- Exercise Juniper Cobra 2018, a joint U.S.-Israel ballistic missile defense exercise, formally concluded March 15 after several weeks of robust training between U.S. and Israeli military personnel on shared capabilities and interoperability via computer simulations and live scenarios.
- Senior DoD Official Discusses Future of Directed Energy Weapons AFPS 21 Mar 2018 -- As stated in the National Defense Strategy, the United States needs to invest and accelerate the modernization of key capabilities to build a more lethal force.
- Pacific Partnership 2018 Begins in Micronesia AFPS 21 Mar 2018 -- Pacific Partnership 2018, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission, began today aboard the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick in Yap, Micronesia.
- Continuing Resolutions, Budget Uncertainty Harm Readiness, Service Secretaries Say AFPS 21 Mar 2018 -- Service secretaries addressed the challenges of providing taxpayers more defense value for their money, and getting innovation into warfighters' hands faster during a House Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday on the Defense Department's proposed fiscal year 2019 budget.
- US Navy Eyes Double Carrier Purchase in 2019 in Pursuit of 355-Ship Fleet Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Following a push by Congress urging the procurement of two aircraft carriers in fiscal year 2019, the United States Navy has asked shipbuilders to send in bids "to further define the cost savings achievable with a two-ship buy," a March 20 news release reads.
- Trump to boost exports of lethal drones to more US allies: Report Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- US President Donald Trump will soon make it easier to export some types of American-made lethal drones to more of Washington's allies, according to a new report.
- Russia's White Swan Strategic Bomber Just Got a 1,000 km+ Range Upgrade Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Russia is in the process of upgrading and expanding its fleet of Tupolev Tu-160 supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bombers.
- Qatar Adds Corvettes to Navy as Gulf Crisis Stagnates Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- The first steel will be cut for the Qatar Emiri Navy's new Italian-made corvettes this July, the vice president of the Qatar program at Fincantieri's naval vessels business unit in Italy announced earlier this month. The delivery of the first two units, one corvette and one offshore patrol vessel, is to take place in 2021.
- No plans for Taiwan to lease F-15 jets from U.S.: minister CNA 21 Mar 2018 -- Defense Minister Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) said Wednesday that there was no truth to a report that the U.S. will lease F-15 fighter aircraft to Taiwan.
- Chinese aircraft carrier enters Taiwan's ADIZ again CNA 21 Mar 2018 -- China's aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, entered waters that are part of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, Defense Minister Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) said, but he insisted his ministry is keeping a close watch on Beijing's regional drills.
- Taipei Sends Jets, Ships to Surveil Chinese Carrier Strike Group Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Taiwanese aircraft scrambled to monitor a Chinese carrier battle group transiting the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday following Chinese President Xi Jinping's warning that Taiwan would face the "punishment of history" if it seeks independence.
- India to Locally Upgrade 130mm M-46 Russian Artillery Guns to 36km Target Range Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- The contract for the upgrade of the field guns was originally awarded to the Israeli firm Soltam, which completed the first lot of 180 guns, but was blacklisted following allegations of corruption. The contract for upgrading the remaining 130mm M-46 was later awarded to a state-owned ordnance factory.
- Eyeing Pyongyang, Seoul to Deploy New 'Artillery Killer' Missiles This Fall Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- South Korea plans to soon deploy multiple surface-to-surface missiles dubbed the "artillery killer," a system that can destroy North Korean bunkers in the event of a military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula.
- Japan's deployment of US missile system affects Russia's security interests: Lavrov Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that the deployment of US missile system components in Japan would have a direct impact on his country's national security and regional interests.
- 21 March 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 21 Mar 2018
- Senators block bi-partisan resolution to end war in Yemen Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- The US Senate has voted against a resolution seeking to end American support for Saudi Arabia's military campaign against Yemen.
- Yemeni forces target Saudi F-15 fighter jet over Sa'ada Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- Yemeni air defense forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have reportedly intercepted and shot down an F-15 fighter jet belonging to the Royal Saudi Air Force.
- Terrorists fire at civilians seeking to exit Eastern Ghouta IRNA 21 Mar 2018 -- Army units continued to secure the humanitarian corridor set up to facilitate the exit of civilians from Harasta in Eastern Ghouta, aided by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
- Syria blasts international silence on incessant terrorist attacks against civilians Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- The Syrian government has decried the silence of the international community on the incessant terrorist attacks against civilian neighborhoods in Damascus, calling on the United Nations to expose the real goals behind the ongoing foreign-sponsored militancy against the Arab country.
- Syrian Army Conducting Offensive on One of Terrorists' Strongholds in E Ghouta Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- The Syrian troops, who have previously liberated the settlements of Saqba and Kafr Batna, continued the offensive on the town of Ein Tarma, regarded as one of the largest strongholds of terrorists in Eastern Ghouta, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Tuesday.
- Rocket Attack by Terrorists on Damascus Outskirts Kills 37 People Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Syrian militants on Tuesday fired rockets at a market in Damascus neighborhood of Jaramana, killing 37 and wounding 35 people, the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation reported.
- Turkish warplanes 'neutralize' 38 PKK members in northern Iraq: Report Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- Turkish warplanes have "neutralized" 38 militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, who were preparing to attack Ankara's forces, security sources say.
- Kashmir gunfight leaves 10 Indian soldiers, suspected militants dead Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- A gunfight has claimed the lives of five soldiers and five suspected militants in the disputed region of Kashmir, police say.
- Acts that undermine the Libyan State must not become the 'new normal,' UN Security Council told UN News 21 Mar 2018 -- Libya's shaky financial position, looming humanitarian crisis and the inability of State authorities to provide services have created a "vicious cycle" where groups with vested interests are trying to step in and undermine the Government, the United Nations envoy to the north African warned on Wednesday.
- Kosovo Parliament Passes Border Deal Despite Tear Gas RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- Kosovo's parliament has approved a long-pending border agreement with Montenegro despite the opposition's use of tear gas to prevent a vote.
- DR Congo: UN report finds 47 protestors killed, freedom of assembly curtailed by use of force UN News 21 Mar 2018 -- The security services and defence forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) killed at least 47 people during anti-government protests over a 13-month period through 31 January 2018, a United Nations human rights report has found.
- Arrest of Anti-Balaka Leader Jean-Francis Diandi by MINUSCA US Dept. of State 21 Mar 2018 -- The United States commends the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) for its recent arrest of anti-Balaka leader Jean-Francis Diandi.
- US Targets 15 South Sudan Oil Entities in New Restrictions VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- The United States is slapping trade restrictions on 15 South Sudanese oil entities that are partially owned or run by the South Sudan government.
- Prospects for Mali Peace, Reconciliation Remain Hostage to Extremists VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- A U.N. expert warns Mali's efforts to implement the Bamako Peace and Reconciliation agreement remain under threat from extremist groups who are destabilizing the country. The Independent expert has presented his report on the situation in Mali to the U.N. Human Rights Council.
- Thousands of Anglophone Cameroonians Continue to Flee to Nigeria VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- Thousands of English-speaking Cameroonians continue to flee violent crackdowns by government forces.
- US Homeland Security Head: Election Cyber Security Is Top Priority VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson told lawmakers Wednesday her agency is making election cyber security its top priority in an attempt to prevent foreign interference in this year's elections.
- Trump Defends Congratulatory Call To Putin RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has defended his decision to congratulate President Vladimir Putin on his re-election, saying a good relationship with Russia is necessary to help solve some of the world's problems.
- Putin Seeks Changes In Anti-Doping Rules That Led To Bans On Russia RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has directed his country's envoys to seek changes in international doping rules that have led to Russia's banishment from major world sporting events since 2015.
- Russia's Top Election Official Blasts US Accounts of Restricted Poll Monitoring VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- Russia's top election official has lashed out at U.S. State Department criticism that in the recent presidential election, Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC) denied observer status to 4,500 monitors linked to anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, along with 850 others with ties to Golos, the independent Moscow-based election watchdog.
- Pro-Putin Night Wolves Bikers Start 'Russian Balkan' Tour In Serbia RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- The Night Wolves, a motorcycle club known for its allegiance to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has started what it is calling a "Russian Balkans" tour with a visit to the Serbian town of Sid.
- Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Emmanuel Macron of France The White House 21 Mar 2018
- Russia says UK may be behind ex-spy chemical attack Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- Russia says Britain may have been behind the poisoning of a former double agent and his daughter, deepening the diplomatic crisis between London and Moscow.
- Deny And Distort: A Timeline Of Russia's Changing Story On Skripal Poisoning RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- Since the poisoning of the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4 in England, Russian officials have been consistent about one thing: Moscow didn't do it.
- Labour Leader Under Fire From Party MPs for Stance on Skripal Poisoning Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Twitter exploded as opposition leader Corbyn was being grilled over his suggestion to give Russia samples of the agent used to poison Skripal amid an investigation into the case.
- Trump, Macron Call for Action Against Russia for Spy Poisoning VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- The U.S. and French presidents, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron, agreed in a phone call Wednesday on "the need to take action to hold Russia accountable" for its use of a nerve agent in the attack in Britain on a former Russian spy and his daughter, the White House said.
- Researcher Behind Facebook Breach Says He Is 'Scapegoat' RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- A Cambridge University academic who harvested data on tens of millions of Facebook users says he has been made a scapegoat by the social network and Britain-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
- What We Know So Far: Suspended CEO Says Cambridge Analytica Helped Elect Trump Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Alexander Nix, the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica data mining company who was suspended after exposing the company's practices in a secretly filmed video, has mentioned Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election as one of the firm's successes.
- Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia The White House 21 Mar 2018
- N Korea says diplomatic overtures signal its strength, not sanctions Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- In its first comment on a fast paced rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang has dismissed speculation that tough sanctions brought North Korea to the negotiating table with the US and the South, stressing that the North is now driving a "peace offensive."
- South Korea, DPRK, US May Hold Trilateral Summit Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- South Korea, North Korea and the United States may hold a trilateral summit to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and ensure peace in the region, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday.
- North Korea: 'Peace Offensive' With US, South Korea Shows Strength VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- North Korea is contending that its recent "dialogue peace offensive" with the United States and South Korea is the result of national strength, not pressure from international economic sanctions aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.
- US: Iran in 'technical compliance' with nuclear deal Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- The United States says Iran is in "technical compliance" with the 2015 international nuclear deal and Washington has had constructive talks about the agreement with its European allies.
- Iran managed to foil US terrorist plot in Middle East: Leader Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Islamic Republic of Iran has well managed to defuse a plot by the United States to spread terrorism and cause rifts in the Middle East region to avert attention from the Zionist regime of Israel.
- Trump, Saudi Prince Assail Iran Over Support For Yemeni Rebels RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- The White House and ally Saudi Arabia assailed Iran for its support for rebels in Yemen, while the Iranian supreme leader hit back in a speech saying the United States was not capable of creating stability in the region.
- On-the-Record-Briefing on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Joint Commission and E3 Meetings In Vienna and Berlin US Dept. of State 21 Mar 2018 -- Special Briefing by Brian Hook, Director of Policy Planning
- US: Plans Being Made in Case Iran Nuclear Talks With Europeans Fail VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- The U.S. says it had constructive talks with its European partners last week on changes to the Iran nuclear agreement, but it is making contingency plans in case the talks fail and President Donald Trump decides to pull out of the landmark 2015 deal.
- Israel Admits to 2007 Strike on Suspected Syrian Nuclear Site VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- The Israeli military admitted Wednesday it was responsible for a 2007 airstrike that destroyed a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor.
- Israel admits to launching military attack on Syria in 2007, warns region of more Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- Israel has formally admitted that it had attacked and destroyed a site in eastern Syria back in 2007, warning the region of more such assaults.
- Israel Admits Destroying Syrian Reactor In Move Seen Aimed At Iran RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- The Israeli military has formally acknowledged for the first time its destruction of a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, saying the air strike removed a major threat to Israel and was a "message" to others.
- Details of Covert Israeli Operation Against Syrian 'Nuclear Facility' Revealed Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- An ex-Israeli defense minister and an air force pilot have revealed classified details and risks of the 2007 Israeli airstrike against a nearly finished Syrian nuclear reactor following the Israeli Defense Ministry acknowledging the bombing.
- Israel Admits Bombing "Nuclear Facility" in Syria's Deir ez-Zor Province in 2007 Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Israeli airstrikes destroyed in 2007 an alleged nuclear facility in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, which was on final stages of its construction, the Israel Defense Forces said on Wednesday in a statement.
- Netanyahu: Israel to Prevent Enemies From Obtaining Nuclear Weapons Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, commenting on Israel's 2007 bombing of what it said was a Syrian atomic reactor, stated that Israel was determined to prevent its enemies from obtaining nuclear weapons.
- Israeli Intel Minister: 2007 Strike on "Syrian Nuclear Reactor" Message to Iran Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Earlier, Israel Defense Forces said that Israeli airstrikes had destroyed an alleged nuclear facility in 2007 in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor.
- President Xi vows to serve the people as national legislature concludes annual session People's Daily 21 Mar 2018 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday vowed to continue to serve the people at the closing meeting of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) annual session.
- Xi: China's development poses no threat to others People's Daily 21 Mar 2018 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said China's development does not pose a threat to any other country.
- Trump Expected to Turn Up the Heat on China in Looming Trade War VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump is expected at any time to fire a salvo directly at China in what could escalate into a full-scale trade war between the world's two largest economies.
- Taiwan's president calls for healthy development of China ties CNA 21 Mar 2018 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday that the key to healthy development of cross-Taiwan Strait ties lies in mutually beneficial policies that are negotiated on an equal footing.
- President Tsai, U.S. official vow to strengthen bilateral ties CNA 21 Mar 2018 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Alex Wong (黃之瀚), deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department, on Wednesday promised to continue the efforts to build Taiwan-U.S. ties on the basis of shared values such as democracy and free market.
- Official visit reaffirms U.S support for Taiwan: Washington CNA 21 Mar 2018 -- A visit to Taiwan by a deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department reaffirmed Washington's long term support for Taipei, the department said Tuesday.
- Development of cross-strait ties should be based on laws: MAC head CNA 21 Mar 2018 -- The relations between the two sides of Taiwan Strait should be developed on the basis of the relevant existing laws, Chen Ming-tung (陳明通), head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), said Wednesday.
- Former French President Sarkozy Charged, Placed Under Judicial Supervision Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- Former French President Sarkozy has been charged with bribery and accepting illegal campaign contributions and placed under judicial supervision, local media report.
- Early Election Fever Grows With Turkish Military Victory in Syria VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- With Turkish led military forces scoring a decisive victory in Syria against the YPG Kurdish militia, speculation is rife in Turkey of early general and presidential elections.
- From Hero To Terrorist? Ukraine's Savchenko Refutes Terror Charges, But Admits To 'Absurd Plans' RFE/RL 21 Mar 2018 -- Less than two years after being celebrated in Ukraine for her defiance toward Russian captors as a prisoner of war, opposition lawmaker Nadia Savchenko is defending herself against accusations that the former military aviator was planning a terror attack on the Ukrainian parliament.
- Myanmar's president resigns 'to take rest from duties' Press TV 21 Mar 2018 -- Myanmar's President Htin Kyaw, a close ally of the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has announced his resignation, citing ill health.
- Somalia: Poor rains forecast put food security, livelihoods at risk, warns UN agency UN News 21 Mar 2018 -- Below-average rains forecast for Somalia could lead to devastating cattle losses and intensify malnutrition in the Horn of Africa nation, the United Nations food security agency has warned.
- Vietnam Courts Closer Ties with Australia to Check China VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- Vietnam is edging closer to Australia as it seeks broader international help in checking China's expansion in the disputed South China Sea.
- Peru's President Submits Resignation Amid Vote-Buying Scandal Sputnik 21 Mar 2018 -- In a televised address, Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski confirmed his resignation Wednesday hours after video footage surfaced that linked him to a vote-buying scandal, according to reports.
- Peru's President Offers to Resign Amid Corruption Scandal VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has offered his resignation a day before he was to face an impeachment vote in congress.
- Egypt Prepares for Presidential Election, and Few Surprises VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- Four years after Egypt's last presidential election, incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is seeking a new mandate in a contest that is generating little suspense. To most observers, it appears clear that Sissi will win. But the main question is, by what margin?
- Pakistani Court Orders Arrest of Cleric Linked to Islamabad Protests VOA 21 Mar 2018 -- A court in Islamabad issued an arrest warrant this week for Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the founder of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), in connection with last year's protests that turned violent and disrupted public order in Islamabad for nearly three weeks.
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