16 December 2018 Military News
- US, Taliban to Meet Monday in UAE VOA 16 Dec 2018 -- A Pakistan-arranged meeting between U.S. and Taliban officials will be held Monday in the United Arab Emirates to push a political settlement to the war in Afghanistan.
- US Hails Pakistan's Work for Peace Talks With Taliban VOA 16 Dec 2018 -- The United States said Saturday it welcomes actions Pakistan is taking to promote a negotiated solution to the war in neighboring Afghanistan.
- Trump to Review Murder Charge Against Former Green Beret VOA 16 Dec 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump says he will review the case of a decorated Special Forces veteran accused of murder in the 2010 killing of a suspected Taliban bombmaker in Afghanistan.
- The Forgotten Afghan Province That Became Taliban Country RFE/RL 16 Dec 2018 -- The ancient fortress towering above Qalat, the capital of Afghanistan's southern province of Zabul, overlooks swaths of desert and scrubland that stretch to the rugged mountains straddling the border with Pakistan.
- Trump Says Will Review Case Against U.S. Soldier Accused Of Murder In Afghanistan RFE/RL 16 Dec 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump says he will review the case of a former U.S. Army officer charged with murder for the 2010 killing of a man he suspected of being a Taliban bomb-maker in Afghanistan.
- 20 Afghan civilians killed in NATO air strikes IRNA 16 Dec 2018 -- At least 20 civilians including 12 children were killed on Sunday in airstrikes by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Afghan security forces in the east of the country.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Stennis CSG and Essex ARG Complete Integrated Operations in C5F NNS 16 Dec 2018 -- The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG), the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed integrated operations in the Arabian Sea, Dec. 15.
- US military caught using mockup Chinese jet for practice Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- The US military has reportedly been caught using a full-size replica of an advanced Chinese fighter jet for training purposes, a move experts say reflects Washington's growing concerns over China's growing military prowess.
- US Fleet to Fail in Battle Against Russian, Chinese Navy, US Think Tank Says Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- According to recent research published by the Center of Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a think tank based in Washingtion, DC, the US fleet risks losing its superiority, as it faces difficulties in countering "the challenges posed by great powers like China and Russia".
- US Commander Predicts US Mission Return to Libya 6 Years After Benghazi Attack Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- In September 2012, the US consulate in Libya's second-largest city of Benghazi was attacked by militants from the Ansar al-Sharia group, leaving envoy Christopher Stevens and three other American employees dead.
- Russia submits draft resolution to UN to preserve treaty with US Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Russia says it has submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly to preserve the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the United States, following a US decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Cold War-era nuclear arms agreement.
- Erdogan - Turkey to Buy 120 F-35 Jets Amid Speculation Deal Will Be Canceled Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that Ankara intended to buy 120 US-made F-35 fighter jets amid speculations that the transfer might be halted.
- 'Outrageous Behavior': Spain Shadows UK Royal Navy Nuclear Sub Near Gibraltar Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- The development follows a Royal Navy vessel firing a warning shot towards a Spanish coast guard vessel last month, after it was deemed to be moving too close to the British submarine. The sub was reportedly departing Gibraltar after having its Tomahawk missile stores replenished.
- UN Calls for Houthis, Saudi-Coalition to Observe Cease-Fire VOA 16 Dec 2018 -- U.N. envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths is calling for the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi militia group to respect the ceasefire that was agreed to Thursday, after a week of negotiations outside the Swedish capital Stockholm. A Houthi spokesman in Sana'a, however, says the cease-fire was not due to officially go into effect until Tuesday.
- Heavy clashes as Saudi push in Hudaydah repelled Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Saudi airstrikes and fierce clashes have shaken the outskirts of Yemen's Hudaydah despite a UN-brokered ceasefire that Yemenis already feared could collapse at any moment.
- Yemen Army targets Saudi military positions with missiles IRNA 16 Dec 2018 -- Yemeni Army's missile units fired four missiles of 'Zelzal 1' type at Saudi military positions south of the country in response to Saudi aerial attacks on Al-Hudaideh.
- Fresh US-led airstrikes leave 17 Syrian civilians dead in Dayr al-Zawr Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- More than a dozen civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed after the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group carried out a series of aerial assaults in Syria's troubled eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
- Turkey says would work with Syria's Assad if he won 'democratic election' Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says the Ankara government would consider working with Syrian President Bashar Assad if he won a democratic and credible election.
- Turkey Not Ruling Out Possibility of Cooperation With Assad - Foreign Minister Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- Turkey will consider the possibility of cooperation with Syrian President Bashar Assad in case of his re-election as the country's head as result of a transparent and fair election, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday.
- US Warns Syrian Opposition, FSA not to Back Turkey's Planned Op Against YPG Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- The warning comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara was ready to launch an operation in Syria's Manbij against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) "in a few days" if the US does not order them to withdraw from the area.
- Terror Attack in Syria's Afrin Leaves Dozens Injured - Source Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- Five Turkish civilians died as a result of an explosion in Syria's Afrin, Lebanon's al-Mayadeen broadcaster reported, citing an informed source. However, no official confirmation of the attack, the number of casualties or reasons behind it has been made.
- Turkey ignores Iraqi protests, attacks PKK again Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Turkish warplanes have struck PKK targets in northern Iraq, ignoring protests from Baghdad which says Turkey's repeated airstrikes violate Iraqi sovereignty and endanger civilians.
- US Vows to Work With EU States Against 'Russian Aggression' After Kerch Row Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- The United States will continue working with European countries as a unified front against Russia's "aggression," the US State Department said in a statement, commenting on the Kerch Strait incident.
- Hamas marks anniversary with parade of new missiles Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Tens of thousands of Palestinians have attended a huge rally in the besieged Gaza Strip to mark the 31st anniversary of the establishment of the Hamas resistance movement.
- Haniyeh hails West Bank's resistance against Zionist enemy Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, has commended the West Bank for its "resistance" in the face of Israeli occupation, as thousands of Palestinians marched in the Gaza Strip to express their support for the movement on its 31st anniversary.
- They have 'no rights' to recognize al-Quds as Israel's 'capital': Malaysian PM Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has denounced Australia's controversial move in recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as the so-called capital of the Israeli regime, saying that "they have no rights" to do so.
- Israeli Troops Discover Fourth Hezbollah Tunnel as Military Op Under Way Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- In early December, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) launched Operation Northern Shield to "expose and neutralise cross-border" tunnels that the Hezbollah militant group was allegedly planning to use to attack Israel from Lebanese soil.
- Northeastern Nigeria fighting with militants leaves 12 soldiers dead Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- At least 12 Nigerian soldiers have been killed and dozens of others have gone missing following clashes with Takfiri militants in the northeastern state of Borno.
- Israeli weapons fueling South Sudan civil war: Report Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Millions of dollars worth of Israeli weapons ended up in South Sudan, thus extending the duration of a deadly civil war there, the Jerusalem Post newspaper has reported.
- Somali Minister Resigns Over Arrest of Former Al-Shabab Leader VOA 16 Dec 2018 -- Somalia federal Minister for Public Works Abdifitaah Ibrahim Geeseey has resigned over the arrest and exclusion of a former al-Shabab leader from a regional election.
- White House Presses Border Wall as Shutdown Looms VOA 16 Dec 2018 -- The White House on Sunday pressed its demand for construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to thwart illegal immigration, even if it forces a partial government shutdown later this week.
- Kremlin-Backed Candidate Wins Rerun Vote In Russia's Far East RFE/RL 16 Dec 2018 -- A Kremlin-backed candidate for governor of Russia's Far East region of Primorye has won a repeat election for the post after officials nullified an earlier ballot over electoral irregularities.
- US sanctions putting denuclearization at risk: North Korea Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- North Korea has denounced the administration of US President Donald Trump for stepping up sanctions and pressure on the nuclear-armed country, warning that disarming Pyongyang could be blocked forever.
- 'Maximum Pressure': Pyongyang Reminds Trump Sanctions Will Fail Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- Pointing to lessons of the past, North Korea has admonished the White House to 'take a sincere approach' in its diplomatic dealings with the northern Asian nation.
- US Sanctions Against North Korea May Stop Denuclearisation - Foreign Ministry Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- On Monday, the US Treasury Department sanctioned three senior North Korean government officials over alleged human rights abuses.
- Ukraine Orthodox church breaks with Russia's Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- The Ukrainian Orthodox church has joined a political struggle by Kiev against Russia, declaring "independence" from the Russian Orthodox Church.
- New Ukrainian Orthodox Leader Gives First Liturgy, Urging Unity RFE/RL 16 Dec 2018 -- In his first liturgy as leader of the new Ukrainian national Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epifaniy has urged Ukrainians to unite and pray for peace in the country.
- Constantinople Patriarch to Give Tomos on Ukraine's 'New Church' Autocephaly Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople invited the elected head of Ukraine's "new church" to visit Istanbul to receive tomos of autocephaly on the feast day of the Epiphany Day on January 6, the patriarchate's press service told Sputnik on Saturday.
- Pakistan Executes 56 Terrorists in 4 Years Since School Attack VOA 16 Dec 2018 -- Military courts in Pakistan have handed down death sentences to 310 people convicted of terrorism in the last four years, and 56 of them have been executed. Fifteen of the death penalties were approved by the military chief Sunday, according to an official announcement.
- Turkey says Trump working on extraditing wanted Gulen Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Turkey says President Donald Trump of the United States has told President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Washington is working on extraditing the US-based Turkish dissident Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against the Turkish leader.
- Turkey Says Trump Told Erdogan He's 'Working On Extraditing' Gulen RFE/RL 16 Dec 2018 -- Turkey's foreign minister says U.S. President Donald Trump has told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Washington is "working on extraditing" a U.S.-based Muslim cleric that Ankara accuses of orchestrating Turkey's failed 2016 coup.
- About Face: Turkish Foreign Minister Claims Trump Will Extradite Fethullah Gulen Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- US President Donald Trump is planning to extradite exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen to Turkey, according to a Sunday statement by Ankara's foreign minister.
- Turkey Claims US 'Working On' Extraditing Muslim Cleric VOA 16 Dec 2018 -- Turkey's foreign minister says U.S. President Donald Trump recently assured Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Washington is considering extraditing a Muslim cleric that Ankara accuses of orchestrating a failed 2016 military coup.
- In U-turn, Sri Lanka president reinstates ousted prime minister Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has reinstated Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister, some two months after he ousted him and triggered a political crisis in the country.
- Swearing In: First Female President of Georgia Takes the Reins Sputnik 16 Dec 2018 -- Marking the start of a new constitution, the Eurasian country of Georgia has sworn in its first female president.
- Georgia's First Woman President Sworn In Amid Opposition Protests RFE/RL 16 Dec 2018 -- Salome Zurabishvili has been sworn into office as Georgia's first woman president, as the opposition continued to denounce her election as rigged.
- Armenian Election Commission Confirms Landslide Victory For Pashinian's Bloc RFE/RL 16 Dec 2018 -- Armenia's Central Election Commission has officially confirmed the landslide victory of acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian's My Step alliance in the December 9 snap parliamentary elections.
- Kosovo votes to form negotiating team amid Serbia tensions Press TV 16 Dec 2018 -- Kosovo's parliament has voted for the formation of a negotiating team to try to resolve outstanding issues between the country and its northern neighbor Serbia.
- Serbian Opposition Forces Vow New Antigovernment Protests RFE/RL 16 Dec 2018 -- Opposition leaders in Serbia have vowed to hit the streets again in January after tens of thousands of people rallied in the capital of Belgrade to protest the rule of President Aleksandar Vucic and his government.
- Skopje, Sofia Not Speaking Same Language When It Comes To Macedonian RFE/RL 16 Dec 2018 -- Macedonia and Bulgaria's long-simmering dispute over the Macedonian language is threatening to boil over again, just as Skopje nears a resolution to its dispute with Greece over the name "Macedonia."
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