12 December 2018 Military News
- Pentagon Sets Up Observation Posts in Syria, to Coordinate Efforts With Turkey Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- The United States has finalized the establishment of observation posts in northeast Syria and will be coordinating with Turkey its security efforts in the border region, Department of Defence spokesperson Col. Rob Manning said in a press release.
- Bomb Attack on Afghan Security Convoy Kills 13 VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- Afghan officials say a suicide car bombing Tuesday hit a security forces' convoy in Kabul, killing at least 13 people and injuring nine others.
- US erects 'observation posts' on Syria-Turkey border despite Ankara's dissent Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- The US military says it has established "observation posts" in northern Syria with the purported aim of preventing clashes between Turkish forces and US-backed Kurdish militants, despite Ankara's strong opposition to the plan.
- Afghan Air Force Hits Taliban With First Nighttime Airstrikes Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- The Afghan Air Force for the first time conducted nighttime airstrikes on targets Sunday.
Defense Policy / Programs
- AFSPC assumes COMSATCOM procurement responsibility for DoD AFNS 12 Dec 2018 -- The Air Force Space Command commander assumed responsibility for procurement of commercial satellite communications services for the Department of Defense from the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency December 12. The move is in accordance with Section 1601(a) of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
- Officials Detail Steps to Improve Navy, Marine Corps Readiness AFPS 12 Dec 2018 -- The Navy and Marine Corps have some readiness challenges, but both services are taking steps to address them, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer and a senior Government Accountability Office official told Senators today.
- Cal Guard's new helicopters make fire debut during Camp Fire Army News 12 Dec 2018 -- Two of the Army's newest helicopters worked their first wildfire missions recently as the California National Guard supported state agencies battling the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California.
- Strike Fighter Squadron 147 Declares Safe-For-Flight NNS 12 Dec 2018 -- The "Argonauts" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 completed their carrier qualifications Dec. 12 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the final required component for Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing (CJSFW) to issue the squadron its safe-for-flight operations certification. This marks a major milestone for the U.S. Navy toward declaring Initial Operating Capability (IOC) next year.
- USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group Returning Home NNS 12 Dec 2018 -- Nearly 6,500 Sailors from the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) are scheduled to return to Naval Station Norfolk, Dec. 16, after completing an eight-month deployment across the 2nd, 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.
- US 4th Fleet Hosts Annual Maritime Synchronization Conference NNS 12 Dec 2018 -- U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) is hosting the annual Maritime Synchronization Conference (MSC) onboard Naval Station Mayport, Dec. 10-14.
- Secretary General welcomes King of Jordan to NATO Headquarters NATO 12 Dec 2018 -- Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan to NATO Headquarters on Wednesday (12 December 2018) for talks on the Alliance's partnership with Amman, as well as regional security challenges. His Majesty participated in a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, addressing security challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa, including the fight against terrorism. At the meeting, Mr. Stoltenberg praised Jordan's role in promoting regional security, and its active role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
- Increasing NATO Forces Near Russian Borders Will Only Increase Tensions - MoD Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, has told NATO Allied Command Operations' Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti that NATO presence near Russian borders was not reducing tensions, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
- Colombia Won't Succumb to Venezuelan Provocations - MoD on Tu-160 Arrival Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- Colombia will not let Venezuela make provocations with the assistance of Russia, which recently sent its aircraft to Caracas, Colombian Defence Minister Guillermo Botero said.
- U.S. Wants UN To Reimpose Ballistic Missile Restrictions On Iran, Says Pompeo RFE/RL 12 Dec 2018 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told the UN Security Council that Washington would seek to work with the 15-member body to reimpose ballistic missile restrictions on Iran.
- Remarks at the United Nations Security Council Meeting on Iran US Dept. of State 12 Dec 2018 -- Remarks by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
- Pompeo: Iran Increasing Ballistic Missile Activity VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that Iran's ballistic missile activity has been growing since the 2015 nuclear deal was agreed upon, and he urged stronger restrictions to prevent such activity.
- Iranian army units ready for mission: Commander IRNA 12 Dec 2018 -- Deputy commander of the Iranian Army for coordination Rear Admiral Habibullah Sayyari said various units of the Army are ready to undertake the mission and defend the country and attend where it is needed.
- India Negotiating Purchase of Russian Igla-S Missile System - Indian Def Min Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- India's Minister of State for Defense Subhash Bhamre said in the parliament that the case of purchase of the missile system is at contract negotiation stage with Rosoboronexport of Russia, the L1 vendor, which has offered Igla-S missile system.
- Indian Navy Inducts Its First Submarine Rescue Vessel Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- Joining the elite club of nations, the Indian Navy has commissioned its first deep submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) along with associated equipment- built by the UK's James Fisher & Sons.
- Air Force to take delivery of first four F-16Vs in March CNA 12 Dec 2018 -- The Air Force is scheduled to take delivery of its first four upgraded F-16 fighter jets at the end of March next year, a military official said Wednesday during a legislative session.
- 12 December 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 12 Dec 2018
- US Senate votes to end US support for Saudi war on Yemen Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- The United State Senate has voted to end President Donald Trump's support for the Saudi war on Yemen.
- US Senate Advances Resolution on Saudi Campaign in Yemen VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- The U.S. Senate was poised late Wednesday to deal a historic rebuke to Saudi Arabia, a longtime U.S. ally, advancing a resolution to end American support for the kingdom's military intervention in Yemen's civil war.
- Houthis, Saudi-backed groups agree to reopen Sana'a airport as talks continue Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Yemen's warring parties have reportedly agreed to reopen the airport in the capital Sana'a, which was shuttered last year after numerous attacks by Saudi Arabia.
- UN asks warring parties to leave Hudaydah, proposes interim entity to rule Yemeni port Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- The United Nations has proposed that both parties to the Yemen conflict pull out of Hudaydah, and that an interim entity be set up to run the embattled port city, a lifeline for millions of people in the war-torn country.
- JIAT issues statement refuting allegations on Coalition Air Force wrong use of power in Sa'dah SPA 12 Dec 2018 -- Official spokesman of the Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT) Legal Counselor Mansour Al-Turki defended the performance of the Coalition to restore legitimacy to Yemen, citing its verification of the occurrence of the alleged incident, the claimant, linking it with military operations in Yemen, the principles on which the international law was based and their conformity with Geneva conventions..
- Head of Yemeni delegation in Stokholm: Foreign forces presence in Yemen unjustifiable IRNA 12 Dec 2018 -- The presence of foreign forces in Yemen is inexcusable, the Yemeni media 'Al-Masirah' quoted head of Ansarullah delegation in Sweden peace talks as saying.
- Car bomb attack kills one, injures 20 in northwestern Syrian town Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- At least one civilian has been killed and nearly two dozen others sustained injuries after a car bomb blast struck near a medical center in Syria's northwestern province of Aleppo.
- Syrian Kurds: Threat of Turkish Action Impacts Anti-IS Fight VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- Kurdish officials in Syria say any Turkish military action against them would affect their efforts in defeating Islamic State in its last stronghold in the country.
- Turkey to launch new operation against US-backed Kurdish militants in northern Syria, says Erdogan Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara will launch a new operation against the US-backed Kurds in northern Syria within days, amid tensions between the two NATO allies over Washington's support for the Kurdish militants in the Arab country.
- Erdogan: Turkey to Start Military Operation East of Euphrates in Couple Days Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- "We are determined to make that area livable and peaceful," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.
- Turkey to Launch New Military Operation Against Syrian Kurds VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- A Turkish military operation against the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, will start in the next few days, according to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. With the YPG being a key U.S. ally in the war against the Islamic State, such a move threatens to resurrect recent tensions between the two NATO allies.
- Iraqi aircraft target Daesh positions in eastern Syria, kill 44 terrorists Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Iraqi military aircraft have carried out two separate airstrikes against members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria's eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr as the Baghdad government has pledged to continue airstrikes on the positions and headquarters of the extremists in the neighboring war-battered country.
- Iraqi jetfighters kill 44 Daesh terrorists in Syria IRNA 12 Dec 2018 -- In an air strike conducted by Iraqi war planes, 44 Daesh (ISIS) terrorists were killed in Syria.
- Iraqi PM says reopening of Baghdad's Green Zone "irreversible" People's Daily 12 Dec 2018 -- Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Tuesday said that the reopening of the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad is "irreversible."
- Korean Soldiers Verify Removal of Border Armed Guard Posts VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- Soldiers from North and South Korea criss-crossed their heavily-fortified border Wednesday to inspect efforts to remove front-line guard posts from their respective sides.
- Germany, France Tried to Ensure Presence of Observers in Kerch Strait - Merkel Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that attempts are being made to allow representatives of Germany and France to observe shipping in the Sea of Azov.
- Germany Supports Sanctions Extension Against Russia Over Kerch Incident - Merkel Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in parliament that Germany would support the extension of sanctions against Russia at the upcoming EU summit.
- India Killed Highest Number of Terrorists in J&K in 2018 - Home Ministry Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- India's home ministry says 238 terrorists were eliminated in Jammu and Kashmir in the last 11 months, the highest killing of militants in recent history as compared to 200 in 2017. The number of terrorism linked offences also saw a steep rise during the period.
- Former CAR Militia Leader Arrested on Suspicion of War Crimes VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- A leading African soccer official was arrested Wednesday in France on charges of war crimes committed in the Central African Republic.
- Former Trump Lawyer Gets 3 Years in Prison VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- Michael Cohen, the longtime personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison, after telling a New York judge that his "blind loyalty" to the U.S. leader led him to "cover up his dirty deeds."
- Trump's Ex-Lawyer Jailed For Dealings Uncovered By Russia Probe RFE/RL 12 Dec 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer was sentenced to three years in prison on December 12 after pleading guilty to tax and bank fraud and campaign finance charges that potentially could implicate Trump himself.
- Kyiv Court: Lawmaker's Release Of Manafort Documents Interfered In U.S. Election RFE/RL 12 Dec 2018 -- A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official's decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump's then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election
- Accused Russian agent to plead guilty, help prosecutors Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Maria Butina, who is charged and detained in the United States over conspiracy to act as a Russian government agent by developing ties with American citizens and infiltrating political groups, has reportedly agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with federal prosecutors.
- U.S. House Of Representatives Condemns Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline RFE/RL 12 Dec 2018 -- The U.S. House of Representatives has condemned the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline, saying the undersea project will boost Russian control over Europe's energy supplies.
- 'Staunch support' for Iran nuclear deal tempered by concern over missile testing UN News 12 Dec 2018 -- While there is "staunch support" among Member States for the 2016 Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, that is tempered by concerns over some of its other activities, which Iran "should carefully consider and address" according to the latest report on the deal from the UN Secretary-General.
- Special Envoy Hints U.S. Could Revoke Visas Of Iranian Officials' Kin RFE/RL 12 Dec 2018 -- Washington's special envoy for Iran says the U.S. administration is looking into the visas of relatives of Iranian officials who are residing in the United States with an eye to possible action to expose hypocrisy within the ranks of Iran's government.
- UN chief urges regional, int'l players to help preserve JCPOA IRNA 12 Dec 2018 -- Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres once again described JCPOA as achievement of multilateral diplomacy, urging regional and international players to ensure continuance of the international accord.
- UN' Guterres stresses on continuance of JCPOA ISNA 12 Dec 2018 -- Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres in the sixth report on the implementation of Resolution 2231 of the Security Council also urged regional and international players to ensure continuance of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- US world's biggest violator of international accords, not in position to accuse others: Iran Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Iran says the United States is the "biggest violator" of international accords, a fact that President Donald Trump best demonstrated by abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal in breach of a United Nations Security Council resolution.
- US criticized at UNSC for pulling out of Iran deal as members stress JCPOA full implementation Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Members of the United Nations Security Council have thrown their full support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal despite pressures by the US which was criticized at the chamber for exiting the agreement in defiance of international objection.
- China steady on Iran oilfields, to ditch South Pars project: Report Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has decided to continue investing in two major Iranian oilfields but suspend investment in the South Pars natural gas project, Reuters claimed on Wednesday.
- Leader: US aiding and abetting Saudi crimes in Yemen Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the United States is complicit in the crimes the Saudi regime has been committing in a years-long war against the people of Yemen.
- US Officials: China Tops List of Security Threats VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- Top U.S. officials are sounding new alarms about China, warning that Beijing, more than Russia, poses the most serious long-term threat to the United States.
- Trump Suggests Trade Deal as Chinese Tech Exec Released on Bail VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- A court in Canada has released tech giant Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on bail as she awaits possible extradition to the United States over bank fraud allegations linked to Iran sanctions.
- China: Canadian Diplomat Arrested on Charges of Endangering Security VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- China said Wednesday a former Canadian diplomat to China who was arrested in Beijing Monday was detained on charges of jeopardizing China's national security.
- Canada court frees China's Huawei CFO on bail Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- A court in Canada has granted bail to a senior executive of China-based Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, 10 days after she was detained in Vancouver on a US arrest warrant, triggering a major diplomatic row.
- Judge Grants Bail to Huawei CFO Charged With Defrauding US Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- A Canadian judge has granted bail for Meng Wanzhou, the Chinese national who is the chief financial officer of Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer.
- Tsai will not sacrifice Taiwan's dignity for ties with China: aide CNA 12 Dec 2018 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will not sacrifice Taiwan's sovereignty and dignity for economic benefits while pursuing the policy of peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait, Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) said Wednesday at a legislative committee meeting.
- CIA still investigating killing of Khashoggi, Pompeo says Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has noted that CIA investigations regarding the death of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi still continued.
- Pompeo: US Still Investigating Saudi Journalist's Killing VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that U.S. authorities are still investigating the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.
- Trump says stands by Saudi crown prince despite rebuke from Senate Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- US President Donald Trump has reiterated that he stands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite a CIA assessment that he personally ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and pressure from fellow Republicans in Congress to rebuke the kingdom's de facto ruler.
- Assembly polls results: Congress gets majority in Chhattisgarh; TRS sweeps Telangana All India Radio 12 Dec 2018 -- In 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly, 89 results have been declared. Congress has got majority by winning 67 seats and leading on 1 while BJP bagged 15 seats. BSP got two seat. JCC(J) has bagged five.
- UK premier survives leadership challenge amid Brexit chaos Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- British Prime Minister Theresa May has managed to survive a leadership challenge by gaining a confidence vote from her party.
- Britain's May Survives No-Confidence Vote VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote to retain her job and prevent another leadership challenge for a year.
- UK Prime Minister Survives No Confidence Vote Sputnik 13 Dec 2018 -- On Wednesday, 48 Conservative members of Parliament sent letters to the 1922 Committee, a group of rank-and-file MPs from the party who hold no government office, triggering a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May.
- Pakistan hits back at US over religious freedoms Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Pakistan has condemned the United States for placing it on a list of countries violating religious freedoms, calling the designation a "politically motivated pronouncement."
- Pakistan Sharply Reacts to US Religious Freedom Charges VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- Pakistan is denouncing a U.S. decision to place it on a list of countries Washington says are the worst offenders of religious freedom.
- Pakistan Hosts Regional Meeting on Countering Afghan Opiates VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran have pledged to increase cooperation and information-sharing for effectively combating the trafficking of Afghan opiates.
- Prisoner executions in Belarus 'simply unacceptable', says UN rights body UN News 12 Dec 2018 -- The continued use of the death penalty in Belarus has been condemned by an authoritative UN rights body after three men were reportedly executed there, despite its requests for clemency.
- Court in Ecuador to Consider Appeal of WikiLeaks Founder Assange on Wednesday Sputnik 12 Dec 2018 -- An Ecuadorian court will consider on Wednesday the appeal submitted by the defence of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange against the demand of the country's government to comply with a protocol containing rules specially developed for him, Assange's lawyer in Ecuador, Carlos Poveda, told Sputnik.
- Russian Cosmonauts Investigate Mysterious Hole In ISS During Six-Hour Space Walk RFE/RL 12 Dec 2018 -- Russia's space agency said two cosmonauts took samples of the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) as part of efforts to resolve the mystery of a small hole found in a Soyuz spacecraft docked at the station.
- Dozens Arrested in Raids on Kurdish Party Headquarters in Turkey VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- Turkish police have detained dozens of people, mostly women, in multiple raids on the local headquarters of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) since Monday, targeting party members and supporters who were on a hunger strike in support of the imprisoned HDP lawmaker Leyla Guven.
- Maduro accuses US of hatching plot to invade Venezuela Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused the United States of hatching a plot to invade the South American country, saying US national security adviser John Bolton was leading the plan.
- Malaysia's former PM Najib faces new corruption charge Press TV 12 Dec 2018 -- Prosecutors in Malaysia have filed a new corruption charge against former prime minister Najib Razak, adding to an already long list of corruption allegations against him since he lost power in elections earlier this year.
- Public Designation, Due to Significant Corruption, of Nicaragua's Roberto Jose Rivas Reyes US Dept. of State 12 Dec 2018 -- "Due to his involvement in significant corruption, the Department is publicly designating the President of Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council, Roberto Jose Rivas Reyes, under the terms of Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2018. Rivas was designated in December 2017 under Executive Order 13818 implementing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act for involvement in significant corruption and for perpetuating electoral fraud that undermined Nicaragua's electoral institutions."
- Kenya, Jersey Island Sign Deal for Return of Graft Money VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- Kenyan officials signed an agreement Tuesday with Jersey, an island off the coast of France, that will pave the way for the return to Kenya of about $5 million stolen from government coffers.
- Congo Faces Pivotal Poll After 2 Years of Delays VOA 12 Dec 2018 -- The December 23 elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo are the country's most important in more than a decade. After delaying a new poll for two years, longtime President Joseph Kabila is stepping aside. Two main candidates are vying to replace him, one is his handpicked successor, the other an opposition leader.
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