12 April 2018 Military News
- Taliban kill local governor, 6 police in S Afghanistan Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- The Taliban terrorist group in Afghanistan has killed a local governor and six police personnel during an attack on a government compound in the country's southeastern province of Ghazni, officials say.
- Afghan District Governor Among Those Killed In Taliban Attack RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- Afghan officials say at least 15 people have been killed, including a district governor, after Taliban militants attacked a district government compound in southeastern Afghanistan.
- Returning home, Afghans continue to face challenges in rebuilding their lives – UN agencies UN News 12 Apr 2018 -- In 2017, about 58,000 Afghan refugees voluntarily returned to their country after decades aboard only to be met with protection risks and "significant" barriers to long-term reintegration into society, two United Nations agencies working in the Asian country reported on Thursday.
- Afghan conflict causes more than 2,000 civilian casualties in first quarter of 2018, UN mission reports UN News 12 Apr 2018 -- Armed conflict in Afghanistan killed 763 civilians and injured 1,495 in the first three months of this year, the United Nations mission there said Thursday.
- Taliban Kills Afghan District Governor, 7 Police Guards VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- A pre-dawn Taliban attack has killed a district governor and seven police personnel in Afghanistan's southeastern province of Ghazni.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Army looks to modernize safety doctrine Army News 12 Apr 2018 -- Sweeping changes to Army Safety doctrine, training, and ease of accident reporting are the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center's top priorities, explained Brig. Gen David J. Francis as he addressed safety professionals from around the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command during an inaugural safety summit at Anniston Army Depot recently.
- Little Rock Arrives in Mayport NNS 12 Apr 2018 -- The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9) arrived to its homeport here this morning for the first time since it was commissioned.
- F-35 Completes Comprehensive Flight Test Program NNS 12 Apr 2018 -- The F-35 program has accomplished the final developmental test flight of the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the program.
- Budget Allows Forces to Restore Competitive Edge, DoD Leaders Tell House AFPS 12 Apr 2018 -- The budget agreement hammered out in Congress will allow the U.S. military to restore its competitive edge during a time of renewed great power competition, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said today before the House Armed Services Committee.
- DoD Official: Years of Sequestration Caused Need for Larger Budget AFPS 12 Apr 2018 -- Though the increased funding in the fiscal year 2019 budget deal is welcome, it will not fully restore the damage to DoD facilities caused by years of sequestration spending cuts, a senior Defense Department official told Congress today.
- Niger-Hosted Exercise Enhances Regional Cooperation, Security AFPS 12 Apr 2018 -- Exercise Flintlock 2018 opened yesterday with a ceremony here.
- Coast Guard Commandant Talks Icebreakers, Counterdrug Operations AFPS 12 Apr 2018 -- The recapitalization of the nation's polar icebreaker fleet is a matter of vital national interest, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft told reporters here yesterday.
- Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Indianapolis DoD 12 Apr 2018 -- The Navy will christen its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, USS Indianapolis (LCS 17), during a 10:00 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, April 14, in Marinette, Wisconsin.
- Carl Vinson Completes Western Pacific Deployment NNS 12 Apr 2018 -- Sailors from aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) returned home to Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, April 12, after completing a scheduled three-month deployment.
- USS Porter Departs Cherbourg, France NNS 12 Apr 2018 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departed Cherbourg, France, April 11, after a scheduled port visit which enhanced U.S.-France relations as the two nations work together to strengthen regional security and stability.
- Edging Closer: US Spy Planes Reportedly Land in Crete Amid Tensions in Syria Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- As the United States and some of its allies threaten military action against Syria in the wake of an alleged chemical weapons attack, two aircraft, which reportedly took part in previous US-led invasions, have arrived in the Mediterranean region.
- South Florida Guard units prepare ahead of hurricane season Army News 12 Apr 2018 -- It's not hurricane season yet, but Soldiers with the Florida National Guard's 50th Regional Support Group (RSG) out of Homestead are already preparing to support civilian authorities in case a storm threatens the state again in the coming months.
- Pentagon Halts F-35 Deliveries Again Over Repair Cost Squabble Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- The United States Defense Department has reportedly told F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin its planes cannot be accepted for the time being because of a debate over who will provide a financial remedy for a "production error found last year on more than 200 of the stealthy jets," Reuters reported Wednesday.
- US-South Korea Military Exercises Minimize Public Show of Force VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- The annual U.S.–South Korea joint military exercises currently underway have historically been a very public demonstration of force intended, in part, to counter North Korea's aggressive nuclear and missile tests. But with looming diplomatic summits aimed at reaching a deal to end the North's nuclear program, media coverage of the drills has so far been limited.
- NATO Secretary General praises Slovakia's contributions to NATO NATO 12 Apr 2018 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Kažimír to NATO Headquarters on Thursday (12 April 2018). The leaders met to discuss preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit in July.
- Yak-130 Plane Crashes in Southwestern Russia, Pilots Unharmed - Defense Ministry Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- A Russian Yak-130 plane crashed in southwestern Voronezh region during a scheduled training flight, both pilots ejected themselves safely, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday.
- Australia: No Place for Chinese Military Bases in Pacific VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- Australia is warning Vanuatu against allowing China to build a military base in the South Pacific archipelago.
- China announces live-fire drills along Taiwan Strait Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- China has announced that it will launch live-fire naval drills in the strait which separates the mainland from the breakaway island of Taiwan.
- China Prepares Live Fire Drill as Xi Emphasizes 'Urgent' Need for Powerful Navy Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- The People's Liberation Army Navy is planning to hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait next week, a move that could step up tensions between Beijing and Taipei.
- Germany's Tornado Jets Still Can't Fly at Night Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- Germany's Panavia Tornado jets are not ready for combat in after-dark scenarios. The problem? The pilots can't see. Worse yet, night vision goggles won't work as a substitute since the lights in the aircraft's cockpit would be blinding to pilots wearing them.
- India Approves Technical Configuration of Ka-226T, Delivery Likely From 2020 Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- In October 2016, India and Russia had finalized a broad agreement for a joint venture between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Russian Helicopters. India will buy the first lot of 60 helicopters in a flyaway condition, while the remaining 140 will be made in India under the joint venture.
- Japan's ShinMaywa to Build US-2 Amphibious Aircraft in India Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- It is not clear who the consumer of the aircraft would be as discussions on the procurement of the aircraft for the Indian Navy has hit a logjam with Japan initially unwilling to reduce prices and allow transfer of technology and now with the Indian Navy facing a severe fund crisis.
- India's Top Bureaucrat to Visit Moscow; Acquiring Russian Submarine Tops Agenda Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- India and Russia have been engaged in an advanced stage of negotiation on the sale of strategically crucial defense platforms like the S-400 air defense system, four stealth frigates, and helicopters despite the threat of US sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.
- Military pension reform aims to encourage longer service CNA 12 Apr 2018 -- The Cabinet on Thursday proposed a military pension reform bill that takes years of service beyond 20 years as a key factor in pension calculation, with an eye to encouraging longer military service.
- President to review military readiness at Su'ao exercise CNA 12 Apr 2018 -- The soldiers involved in the military drill President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will observe at Su'ao naval base in Yilan County on Friday will not be using live ammunition, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
- Security in the Gulf is vital to keeping Britain safe UK MOD 12 Apr 2018 -- Standing side by side with our Gulf partners against mutual threats not only improves regional security and stability, but keeps our people safe at home, the Defence Secretary reaffirmed in his first visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
- Greek jet crashes in Aegean Sea, pilot killed Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- A Greek fighter jet has crashed into the Aegean Sea, leaving its pilot killed amid rising tensions with neighboring Turkey.
- 12 April 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 12 Apr 2018
- Saudi jets attack Intl. airport, airbase in Yemen capital city Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Saudi warplanes have launched seven airstrikes against the Sana'a International airport and al-Dailami air base in Yemen's capital city as the regime pushes ahead with its aggression against its neighbor.
- 'No final decision has been made' on Syria: White House Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- President Donald Trump and his national security aides have discussed US options on Syria and "no final decision has been made," according to the White House.
- Erdogan concerned by world powers 'arms wrestling' on Syria amid tensions between Russia, US Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on world powers to stop "arms wrestling" on Syria amid an unprecedented upsurge of tension between the United States and Russia over an alleged chemical attack near the Syrian capital earlier this month.
- Syria: Break impasse in Security Council, avoid situation 'spiraling out of control' - UN chief UN News 12 Apr 2018 -- Amid the risks of the situation in Syria "spiraling out of control," the United Nations chief has appealed to the five permanent members of the Security Council to break the current deadlock on reported use of chemical weapons in the war-torn country.
- Trump: 'No Final Decision' Made on Striking Syria VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- Amid a Russian warning that a military conflict could erupt with the United States over Syria, President Donald Trump convened his National Security Council to discuss the American response to the recent alleged chemical weapons attack blamed on the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- Russian UN Envoy: First Priority Is to Avert Wider Syrian War VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- Russia's U.N. ambassador urged the United States and its allies Thursday to avoid a military strike on Syria, saying the goal was to avert a wider war.
- Who Might Join US-Led Strikes Against Syria? VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- The United States says it is working on forming an international coalition to respond to last week's suspected chemical weapons attack in a rebel-held Syrian town that left dozens dead. Here's the latest on which countries may take part in possible military action:
- Assad: West trying to change trend of Syria's victories IRNA 12 Apr 2018 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday that victories by his country's army in the fight against terrorism have prompted western countries to try to change the trend of events.
- White House says "all options" still on table on Syria response People's Daily 12 Apr 2018 -- The White House said on Wednesday that no "final decision" has been made and all options were still on the table concerning Washington's response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.
- Seriously consider consequences of attack on Syria: Russia to West Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Russia says threats by the US and France to launch a military aggression against Syria violate the UN Charter, calling on the West to "seriously consider" the consequences of such intimidation.
- Iran wants Idlib freed, occupying US troops out of E Syria: Senior official Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Following Syria's victory in Eastern Ghouta, a senior Iranian official has expressed hope for the Arab nation's army to liberate Idlib Province, now a major militant bastion, and cleanse the country's eastern regions of "occupying" US troops.
- UK prime minister calls war cabinet meeting over Syria military action Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- UK Prime Minister Theresa May is due to convene a special "war cabinet" on Thursday to seek approval for possible military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, British media have reported.
- Any US-Russia conflict over Syria will set Mideast on fire: Turkey Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli has warned against the ramifications of a potential conflict between the US and Russia over the Syria issue, saying such an incident will set the entire Middle East "on fire."
- Assad warns West as Syria army frees entire Eastern Ghouta from terrorists Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned the Western states against any military action against his country shortly after government forces managed to liberate Douma, the last Eastern Ghouta town under militant control.
- UNSC must not let Syria crisis spiral out of control: Guterres Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that the "impasse" in the Security Council on Syria could cause the situation to spiral out of control amid threats of a US military strike against the Arab country.
- UN Chief, Ex-U.S. President Urge Caution As Trump Vows Syria Strike RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- The head of the United Nations and a former U.S. president warned against allowing the war in Syria to spiral out of control, hours after President Donald Trump told Syrian ally Russia to "get ready" for retaliatory missile strikes.
- Trump Says Will Make Decision On Syria 'Fairly Soon' RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- President Donald Trump has promised a decision on possible military action in Syria "fairly soon," saying he is holding meetings with his advisers over the U.S. response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria, as Russia's UN envoy urged Washington and its allies to refrain from military action.
- CIA Director: 'Couple Hundred Russians' Killed In February U.S. Assault In Syria RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- CIA Director Mike Pompeo has said that a "couple hundred Russians" were killed in eastern Syria during U.S. artillery and air strikes in early February, an attack that remains shrouded in mystery.
- UK Cabinet 'Agreed on Need To Take Action' in Syria Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- According to a new statement from Downing Street, the United Kingdom's prime minister and top-level advisers "agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime."
- US Officials Claim to Have Blood Samples Proving Alleged Douma Attack - Reports Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- The United States has new evidence that suggests chlorine gas and an unidentified nerve agent were used in a recent attack in the Syrian town of Duma, but US officials are not 100 percent sure about the intelligence, NBC News reported on Thursday.
- Pompeo Calls for Tough Actions Against "Failed State" of Syria Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- US CIA Director Mike Pompeo has called for strict measures against what he called a "failed state" of Syria amid claims of a chemical attack in Douma, blamed on Damascus by Washington and its allies.
- Germany Will Not Join Bombing Campaign in Syria - Chancellor Merkel Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- US President Donald Trump has threatened to attack Syria in retaliation to an alleged chemical attack which he quickly blamed on the Syrian government. Damascus has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons and has vowed to defend itself in the event of military aggression by the West.
- Russia-US Military Communication Channel in Syria Open – Kremlin Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- In wake of Trump's "Russia, get ready" tweet on Syria, Moscow underlined the necessity to refrain from any steps which could lead to an escalation in the region.
- Syrian President Assad: 'Any Western Action Will Increase Instability in Region' Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- Syrian President Bashar Assad has met with Iranian Supreme Leader's Top Adviser for International Affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, discussing developments in the war against terrorism, in the wake of Donald Trump threats to attack Syria, after an alleged chemical attack in the country.
- 1,500+ Militants, Relatives Sent From E. Ghouta in 24 Hours - Russian Military Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- More than 1,500 militants and their family members were evacuated from Syria's Eastern Ghouta through the humanitarian corridor via the Muhayam Al-Wafedin in the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday.
- Syrian Government Regains Control Over Eastern Ghouta Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- Syrian government forces have regained control over Eastern Ghouta region, Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation announced.
- Myanmar not ready for return of Rohingya Muslims, says UNHCR Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- The UN refugee agency has said that conditions in Myanmar are not ready for the return of persecuted Rohingya Muslims who fled to neighboring Bangladesh following a military crackdown in Rakhine state last year.
- "Time to move from promises to action," UN envoy urges Malian parties to fulfill peace accord People's Daily 12 Apr 2018 -- Despite an ever-precarious security situation that has claimed lives of civilians and United Nations peacekeepers alike, the peace process in Mali is making headway following a timetable leading to elections later in 2018. While Malians must ensure the successful holding of elections this year, their priority should be the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement, a senior United Nations official said Wednesday at the meeting of the UN Security Council on the latest situation in Mali.
- Egyptian authorities open Rafah border crossing for three days Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Egypt has allowed the opening of the Rafah crossing with the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip for three days after several weeks of closure, Palestinian authorities say.
- Israeli breach of airspace amounts to attack on Lebanon: Aoun Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Lebanon's President Michel Aoun says Israeli jets' violation of the Lebanese airspace amounts to an attack on the country's national sovereignty, noting that Beirut will lodge a complaint with the United Nations Security Council.
- Aid Groups Seek to Raise $1.7B for DRC, Over Congo's Objections VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- As donors prepare to gather Friday in Geneva for a major aid conference to raise $1.7 billion for humanitarian needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the government of the central African nation is standing firm on its refusal to attend or cooperate.
- Pompeo Grilled on Russia, Trump at Confirmation Hearing VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, faced intense questioning about the ongoing Russia probe, his relationship with the president, and hotspots around the globe during his confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
- Trump's new secretary of state to declare end of US soft policy on Russia Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- US President Donald Trump's designated secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is due to appear at his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, where he will tell lawmakers in the upper chamber of Congress that years of soft policy towards Russia are "now over."
- U.S. Secretary of State Nominee Pompeo Signals Tougher Approach Toward Russia RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- CIA Director Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of state, says he wants to "reset" the "deterrence relationship" with Russia, signaling a harder approach toward Moscow.
- OPCW's poisoning report may be part of UK agenda to discredit Russia: Zakharova Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Moscow has cast doubt on authenticity of a report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the poisoning of a Soviet-era spy in the UK, saying it may be part of Britain's agenda to harm Russia's reputation.
- OPCW Confirms Skripals Poisoned With Novichok - Reports Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- As London continue to accuse Moscow of orchestrating the poisoning of a former Russian spy despite the lack of evidence to back up this claim, with the UK and a number of other states expelling Russian diplomats over the matter, the OPCW moves in to deliver a verdict of its own.
- Labs Confirm Nerve Agent Used on Russian Ex-Spy, Daughter VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- Four laboratories linked to the international chemical weapons watchdog have confirmed Britain's findings that a nerve agent was used last month to poison a former Russian spy and his daughter.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, April 12, 2018 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 12 Apr 2018
- Russian Court To Hear Request To Block Telegram RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- A Russian court says it will begin considering this week a request by state media regulator Roskomnadzor to block the messaging app Telegram.
- DPR Korea: UN says $111 million needed to provide life-saving aid, tackle malnutrition UN News 12 Apr 2018 -- The United Nations and its partners are urgently requesting $111 million in humanitarian funding to assist millions of people in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), including children whose growth has been stunted because they are not getting enough to eat.
- US may impose 'very strong' sanctions against Iran: Mnuchin Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says President Donald Trump may re-impose "very strong" sanctions against Iran in May, but that would not necessarily mean a withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement.
- U.S. Treasury Secretary Warns Of 'Very Strong' Sanctions On Iran RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has signaled that the United States may impose "very strong" sanctions on Iran as President Donald Trump seeks to address what he called the "disastrous flaws" in the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.
- Israeli Leader Warns Iran, Days After Air Strike On Syrian Base RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran not to test Israel and compared Tehran to Nazi Germany on the day Israel commemorates the murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.
- String 'Em Up: Iranian Cleric Wants Money Changers Executed Amid Currency Crisis RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- A senior hard-line Iranian cleric has called for the execution of "several key money changers" to help end the country's currency crisis.
- Xi says Belt and Road Initiative not an intrigue of China People's Daily 12 Apr 2018 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with incumbent and incoming members of the Board of Directors of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in Boao, south China's Hainan Province, April 11, 2018. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
- India Resets Navigation Satellite Developed to Replace GPS Sputnik 12 Apr 2018 -- India had started the process of developing its own indigenous navigation satellite system after the US refused to provide GPS data to the Indian armed forces during the Kargil war with Pakistan in 1999.
- Ukraine Rejects Russian Gas Offer VOA 12 Apr 2018 -- Ukraine this week dismissed as unacceptable a natural gas transit proposal by Russian energy giant Gazprom. Kyiv's move will further complicate efforts by Western European governments to persuade their Central European counterparts to withdraw objections to Nord Stream 2, a Kremlin-favored pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea to deliver gas from Russia to Germany without transiting Ukraine and Poland.
- Ukraine Announces Plans To Quit CIS, Terminate Parts Of Russia Friendship Treaty RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced plans to quit the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and terminate parts of a friendship treaty with Russia.
- Aliyev wins fourth term as Azerbaijan president: Official results Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has been re-elected for a fourth term, the official results of the Wednesday election show.
- Macedonian Government Survives No-Confidence Vote In Parliament RFE/RL 12 Apr 2018 -- Macedonia's government has survived a no-confidence motion initiated by the conservative opposition, which accused it of mishandling relations with neighboring countries while failing to control corruption or halt economic stagnation.
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