17 November 2018 Military News
- Belgium to Boost Troops Number in Afghanistan by Over 2.5 Times - Reports Sputnik 17 Nov 2018 -- The Belgian government approved a proposal by the country's Defense Ministry to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan more than 2.5-fold in 2019, local media reported on Friday.
- Taliban 'Optimistic' About Dialogue With US on Afghan Peace VOA 17 Nov 2018 -- The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, has held another round of marathon discussions with Qatar-based Taliban officials to push for a politically negotiated settlement to the 17-year war.
- Ghani Says Nearly 29,000 Afghan Troops Killed Since 2015 RFE/RL 17 Nov 2018 -- The death toll among Afghanistan's security forces since 2015 is close to 29,000, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has revealed, providing a figure far higher than anything previously acknowledged by the government.
- Trump Defends Deployment of US Troops Sent to Southern Border VOA 17 Nov 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump again defended sending U.S. troops to the southern border with Mexico, questioning the migrants' motives for making the perilous journey, citing a strong U.S. economy.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Great Power Strategy Affects DOD Priorities, Allocations, Dunford Says AFPS 17 Nov 2018 -- Great power competition will require changes to DOD funding priorities and allocations to maintain America's competitive advantage, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at the Halifax International Security Forum today.
- USS Sioux City "Brought to Life" at U.S. Naval Academy NNS 17 Nov 2018 -- The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest surface combatant, the littoral combat ship USS Sioux City (LCS 11), during a ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy, Nov. 17.
- US to partner with Australia to redevelop naval base in Papua New Guinea Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- The United States says it will partner with Australia to redevelop a naval base in Papua New Guinea (PNG) at Manus Island, in an apparent move to ramp up its presence in the South Pacific to counter China perceived influence there.
- Netherlands chides France, Germany over EU army proposal Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- The Dutch Prime Minister has rejected the idea of a European army proposed by France and Germany, stressing that the continent's safety could be guaranteed only through NATO.
- Europe's Justification of Military Spending Boost Far-Fetched - Moscow Sputnik 17 Nov 2018 -- Moscow believes that the explanation offered by European states for increasing military spending on the need to constraint some "illusory potential aggressor" is far-fetched, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
- Finland summons Russian ambassador over GPS jamming allegations during NATO war games Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- Finland has summoned Russian ambassador over allegations that the Russian military had jammed its GPS signals during a major NATO military maneuver in Norway earlier this month.
- Finland Summons Russian Envoy Over Blocked GPS Signals RFE/RL 17 Nov 2018 -- Russia's Ambassador to Finland Pavel Kuznetsov has been summoned to a meeting with Finnish State Secretary Matti Anttonen on November 19 over the disruption of Finland's global positioning system (GPS) signals during recent NATO military exercises.
- Belgian Troops to Join NATO Force in Estonia Sputnik 17 Nov 2018 -- Belgian troops will be forward deployed to Estonia to replace the rotating Dutch contingent, the Defense Ministry of the small Baltic nation said Friday.
- 'Strike Enemies by Surprise': Chinese Army to Go Beyond Self-Defence – Report Sputnik 17 Nov 2018 -- The announcement came after Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete the modernisation of the country's military by 2035 and to transform it into a world-class fighting force by 2050.
- India Requests Purchase of 24 Anti-Submarine Helicopters From US - Reports Sputnik 17 Nov 2018 -- India has sent to the United States a request for an urgent acquisition of 24 anti-submarine multi-purpose Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters for its naval forces, the PTI agency reported on Saturday, citing informed sources.
- Commander: Sahand destroyer, Fateh submarine to be launched IRNA 17 Nov 2018 -- Deputy Coordinator of the Iranian Army Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Saturday that the army is to launch Sahand destroyer and Fateh submarine in the near future.
- Discovered San Juan Sub Deformed With Signs of Explosion - Argentine Navy Chief Sputnik 17 Nov 2018 -- The ARA San Juan submarine, which disappeared in 2017 and was recently located by US company Ocean Infinity, was found deformed and with signs of an explosion, the commander of Argentine naval base in Mar del Plata Attis told relatives of the sailors.
- Argentinian Navy Says Missing ARA San Juan Sub Found After Year of Searching Sputnik 17 Nov 2018 -- The US company Ocean Infinity, contracted by the Argentinian authorities to search for the missing ARA San Juan submarine, has located the vessel that had been missing since November 2017, the Argentinian Navy said on Saturday.
- Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure The White House 17 Nov 2018
- Lockheed Martin's Experimental Low Boom Supersonic Plane Enters Production Sputnik 17 Nov 2018 -- Lockheed Martin started the production of the $250 million experimental supersonic plane ordered by NASA.
- 16 November 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 16 Nov 2018
- Amid continued suffering in Yemen, UN envoy welcomes reports of reduced violence IRNA 17 Nov 2018 -- Addressing the UN Security Council on Friday, Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, said that although conflict continues to rage, he welcomed recent reports of reduced violence in the country.
- Five Saudi-paid Sudanese troopers slain in Yemeni army offensive Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- At least five Saudi-paid Sudanese soldiers have lost their lives when Yemeni army troops and fighters from allied Popular Committees launched an attack in the country's strategic western province of Hudaydah.
- Yemeni Army Recaptures more Strongholds of Houthi, in western Taiz SPA 17 Nov 2018 -- The Yemeni army made further progress on the ground, in battles against al-Houthi militias, in western Taiz.
- Syria army establishes control over large areas in Sweida IRNA 17 Nov 2018 -- Syrian army units operating in the southern region made a significant advance against Daesh (ISIS) terrorists' depots in Tuloul al-Safaa in the depth of Sweida eastern Badiya (desert).
- US-led coalition airstrikes kill 40 people in Syria's Dayr al-Zawr Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- Dozens of civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed when the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group conducted fresh airstrikes against residential areas in Syria's eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
- Russia says nearly 270,000 Syrian refugees returned home in recent months Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- The Russian military says nearly 270,000 Syrian refugees have returned home in recent months, some seven years after various militant outfits started wrecking havoc in the Arab country.
- Arab Media: Airstrikes in Syria Kill IS Fighters, Relatives VOA 17 Nov 2018 -- The head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that U.S.-led coalition airstrikes killed more than 40 people in the village of Abu Husn in the region of Deir el-Zor, near the Iraqi border.
- Over two dozen Daesh remnants slain in Iraqi army airstrikes, ground operations Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- More than two dozen members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have been killed as Iraqi air forces and government troops launched separate counter-terrorism operations across the crisis-hit Arab country to flush out the last remnants of the extremist outfit.
- Bhasan Char: Bangladesh Builds New Rohingya Camp VOA 17 Nov 2018 -- The Bangladesh government wants to send about 100,000 Rohingya refugees to a muddy, uninhabited island – "formed only in the last 20 years by silt from Bangladesh's Meghna River" – in the Bay of Bengal.
- Central African Republic: Guterres says UN mission committed to protecting civilians, helping stabilize country, as violence flares UN News 17 Nov 2018 -- Amid a recent uptick in violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday said he stood in solidarity with the crisis torn country and warned that attacks against defenseless civilians and UN 'blue helmets' may amount to war crimes.
- Readout of Vice President Pence's Meeting with Prime Minister Peter O'Neill of Papua New Guinea The White House 17 Nov 2018
- Readout of Vice President Pence's Meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia The White House 17 Nov 2018
- Joint Statement of the Governments of the United States of America, Australia, and Japan The White House 17 Nov 2018
- U.S. Prosecutors In Settlement Talks With Accused Russian Agent RFE/RL 17 Nov 2018 -- U.S. prosecutors and lawyers for accused Russian agent Maria Butina are negotiating over a possible settlement of her case, court filings say.
- Chinese President intends to visit North Korea next year, South Korea says Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced his intention to visit neighboring North Korea next year in response to an official invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, South Korea says.
- Washington Under Pressure to Ease North Korean Sanctions VOA 17 Nov 2018 -- Washington faces mounting pressure from China, Russia and South Korea, as well as humanitarian groups, to ease sanctions on North Korea as the Trump administration's denuclearization talks with Pyongyang have hit a snag.
- Iran, Iraq committed to win-win relations: FM Zarif Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has expressed his delight at the current visit by Iraqi President Barham Salih and his accompanying delegation to Tehran, saying Iran and Iraq are committed to win-win cooperation.
- Iran urges UN to take stance against US violations Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- Gholam-Ali Khoshroo, Iran's outgoing ambassador to the United Nations, has called on the world body to take an official stance against what he described as America's evasion of the international law.
- China chides US to portray Silk Road plan as 'trap' Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- China's President Xi Jinping has rejected US criticism of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative, saying it is not "a trap".
- Pence: US Will Uphold Taiwan Relations Act, One China Policy VOA 17 Nov 2018 -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday that Washington will continue to uphold the "Taiwan Relations Act" and "One China Policy" after his much-watched meeting with Morris Chang, Taiwan's representative to a regional economic forum in Papua New Guinea.
- CIA reportedly concludes MBS ordered Khashoggi assassination IRNA 17 Nov 2018 -- The CIA has found that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, directly contradicting claims to the contrary by the Saudi government, the Washington Post has reported.
- Trump talks to CIA chief on Khashoggi killing as Washington remains clueless about Saudi plot Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- US President Donald Trump has spoken with CIA Director Gina Haspel about the role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.
- CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi assassination: Washington Post Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Arab kingdom's consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul last month, a report says.
- U.S. Denies Reaching Conclusion On Khashoggi Killing Despite Intelligence Assessment RFE/RL 17 Nov 2018 -- The Trump administration said it had not reached a final conclusion on who was involved in the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi despite U.S. intelligence agencies' assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman ordered the killing.
- CIA Reportedly Concludes Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi Assassination Sputnik 17 Nov 2018 -- The CIA has found that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, directly contradicting claims to the contrary by the Saudi government, the Washington Post has reported.
- State Department: No Conclusion Reached in Khashoggi Death VOA 17 Nov 2018 -- The U.S. State Department said Saturday that the government had not reached a conclusion about the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- Iraq Resumes Oil Exports From Kirkuk Under U.S. Pressure RFE/RL 17 Nov 2018 -- Under pressure from Washington, Iraq has restarted exports of oil from Kirkuk that were halted a year ago due to a standoff between the central government and Iraq's Kurdish semiautonomous region.
- UAE, Bahraini space agencies sign declaration to train Bahraini space team SPA 17 Nov 2018 -- The United Arab Emirates' Space Agency, UAESA, has signed a Declaration of Principles with Bahrain's National Space Science Agency, NSSA, and the UAE's Khalifa University, for training of Bahrain space team, WAM reported.
- Gulen extradition to Turkey not on Washington's agenda, says Trump Press TV 17 Nov 2018 -- US President Donald Trump says the extradition to Turkey of Pennsylvania-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Ankara government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt, is not on Washington's agenda.
- Pompeo: Ukraine Has 'No Greater Friend Than The United States' RFE/RL 17 Nov 2018 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Ukraine has "no greater friend than the United States" in its struggle against "Russian aggression."
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