17 December 2018 Military News
- Afghan Taliban, U.S. Officials Meet In U.A.E. As Peace Efforts Intensify RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- The Afghan Taliban says its representatives have met with U.S. officials in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) as efforts intensify to negotiate an end to Afghanistan's 17-year war.
- Afghan Taliban Representatives, US Officials Meet in UAE VOA 17 Dec 2018 -- Afghan-Taliban representatives met with U.S. officials Monday amid moves to press for a negotiated end to Afghanistan's 17-year war.
- Officials: US Airstrikes Destroyed Al-Shabab Base, Kill 62 Militants VOA 17 Dec 2018 -- U.S. military airstrikes in Somalia over the weekend destroyed a secret al-Shabab base close to the capital, Mogadishu, and killed at least 62 militants, including 10 middle-ranking commanders, according to Somali officials and intelligence sources.
- 62 people killed in US airstrikes against purported militant positions in Somalia Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- The US has carried out fresh airstrikes in Somalia, killing dozens of purported militants there as Washington steps up its military presence in Africa.
- Pentagon Reduces Troop Levels at US-Mexico Border to 3,150 Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- The US military has lowered the number of personnel deployed on the southwest border to 3,150 but will continue assessing the needs of the Custom and Border Protection (CBP) agency, US Defense Department spokesperson Robert Manning told reporters on Monday.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Exercise enhances trust, cooperation between US, Indian air forces AFNS 17 Dec 2018 -- Airmen from the U.S. and Indian air forces marked the successful completion of 12 days of bilateral training and increased mutual cooperation during the Cope India 19, or CI19, closing ceremony Dec. 14 at Kalaikunda Air Force Station.
- Air Commodore Alsop Visits USS Mobile Bay NNS 17 Dec 2018 -- Royal Australian Air Force Air Commodore Tim Alsop, Director of the Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC) at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, visited the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), Dec. 8.
- Mission complete: 53rd WEG concludes first post-hurricane Combat Archer AFNS 17 Dec 2018 -- F-22 Raptors from the 27th Fighter Squadron and F-35 Lightning IIs from the 58th Fighter Squadron successfully flew more than 140 sorties and fired 13 missiles to culminate the first post-Hurricane Michael Combat Archer air-to-air exercise at Eglin Air Force Base Dec. 14.
- Interoperability is Everything for Combined Resolve XI Army News 17 Dec 2018 -- Combined Resolve XI focused on improving the readiness and lethality of participating units during its first two-week phase, beginning on Nov. 26, at the Joint Multinational Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany. The U.S. Army Europe exercise is held biannually at the Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr training areas.
- West Virginia National Guard aided in mine rescue operations Army News 17 Dec 2018 -- When the West Virginia Watch Center, operated by the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), received a call on Dec. 9 that four people were missing in a shuttered coal mine, the state sprang into action.
- Truman Strike Group Returns Home from Eight-Month Deployment NNS 17 Dec 2018 -- Nearly 6,500 Sailors from the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) returned to Naval Station Norfolk Dec. 16 following an eight-month deployment.
- Navy Establishes First CMV-22B Squadron NNS 17 Dec 2018 -- The Navy held a ceremony Dec. 14 at Naval Base Coronado to commemorate the establishment of Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30, the Navy's first CMV-22B squadron.
- Navy Lays Keel of Future USS Mobile NNS 17 Dec 2018 -- The U.S. Navy held a keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Mobile (LCS 26) at Austal USA's shipyard on Dec. 14.
- U.S. Air Force To Launch New Generation Of GPS Satellites RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- The U.S. Air Force is preparing to launch the first of a new generation of GPS satellites, with the goal of providing more accuracy and security in the face of jamming threats from adversaries, including Russia.
- US Prepares First Generation III GPS Satellites for Launch Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- The US Air Force is readying its first launch of a new generation of global positioning satellites. However, the program is behind schedule, over budget and generally fraught with problems.
- Pentagon Confirms They Received Russian Proposal on INF Treaty Talks - Spokesman Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- The US Department of Defense has received the Russian proposal on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty discussion by military experts and will respond as appropriate, the Pentagon spokesman told Sputnik on Monday.
- Complexes "Avant-garde" with a hypersonic unit will stand on combat duty in 2019TASS 17 Dec 2018 -- The first Avangard missile systems with a hypersonic block will take up combat duty in 2019 in the Dombarovsky unit (Orenburg Region). This was announced in an interview with the newspaper of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation "Krasnaya Zvezda" by thecommander of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) Sergey Karakaev.
- Russian Strategic Missile Forces to Get 100 New Pieces of Armament by Year-End Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- The Russian Strategic Missile Forces will receive around 100 new pieces of armament, including the Yars missile systems, Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces Col. Gen. Sergei Karakaev said.
- Russian Missile Forces Taking Into Account US Possible Withdrawal INF Treaty Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- The Russian Strategic Missile Forces take into account consequences of the United States' possible withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, while planning their actions, Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces Col. Gen. Sergei Karakaev said.
- China, India strengthen military cooperation to combat terrorism People's Daily 17 Dec 2018 -- A joint military training between the Chinese and Indian military is underway in Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province.
- Iran army aviation to use drones: Comdr IRNA 17 Dec 2018 -- Drone unit of the Iranian Army Ground Force's Airborne Division (Havanirouz) is to be formed before long, the commander of the force told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
- Netanyahu: Israeli Missiles Can Reach Entire Middle East Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- "They develop offensive missiles here that can reach any place in the region and any target," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday.
- Canada Looking to End Arms Contract With Saudis Amid Khashoggi Case – Trudeau Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his administration had inherited a 15 billion Canadian dollars ($11 billion) arms contract with Saudi Arabia it now wanted to scrap.
- Japan adopts new defense guidelines NHK World 17 Dec 2018 -- Japan has approved new defense guidelines, including a plan to upgrade an existing destroyer into a de-facto aircraft carrier.
- Serbian, Kosovar Leaders To Address UN Security Council About Kosovo's Army RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- The Serbian and Kosovar presidents are expected to address the UN Security Council on December 17 following Kosovo's decision to transform its lightly armed security force into a full-fledged army -- a move that has angered Kosovo's ethnic Serbs and Belgrade.
- DoD News: Contracts for December 17, 2018
- Embraer and Boeing Approved the Terms of Strategic Aerospace Partnership, Seek Brazilian Government Approval Boeing 17 Dec 2018 -- Embraer and Boeing have approved to the terms of a strategic partnership that would position both companies to accelerate growth in global aerospace markets.
- 17 December 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 17 Dec 2018
- UN General Assembly Approves Global Compact to Track, Respond to Refugees Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- A global compact on refugees that is intended to reduce the burden on host nations has been overwhelmingly adopted by the UN General Assembly, days after participants at a United Nations conference in Morocco adopted a similar compact on migration, the United Nations said in a press release on Monday.
- Global Compact on Refugees: How is this different from the migrants' pact and how will it help? UN News 17 Dec 2018 -- The terms 'refugee' and 'migrant' have been used interchangeably to describe the millions of people worldwide that are either fleeing conflict or seeking better living conditions. As the United Nations sets out to secure global compacts to better protect them, it's critical to understand the differences between the two.
- Yemen: 'Fighting erupts soon after truce takes force' Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Sporadic clashes have been reported in the western Yemen port city of al-Hudaydah soon after a UN-brokered ceasefire takes force in the province of the same name.
- UN says Yemen truce to begin Tuesday as Saudi raids rise Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- The UN-brokered ceasefire in Yemen's Hudaydah and its surroundings will start on Tuesday, a United Nations official said after renewed fighting in the strategic city.
- Russian MoD Reveals How Iskander Missile System Proved Effectiveness in Syria Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- This comes after Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced in September that Russia would take a spate of measures to enhance safety of its troops in Syria, including the deliveries of the S-300 systems to the Arab country.
- Russian Aviation in Syria Carried Out Up to 100 Sorties Per Day - Minister Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said Monday that Russian military aircraft and helicopters managed to carry out up to 100 sorties per day from the Hmeymim air base in Syria due to efficient functioning of the engineering services.
- UN Syria envoy set to host top diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey this week Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is set to host top diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey, as guarantors of the Syria peace process, in Geneva this week.
- Assad asks Iran, Russia to stop Western 'interference ' in Syria Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- President Bashar al-Assad has asked Iran and Russia to "stop the interference of some Western states" as Syria is setting up a committee tasked with negotiating a new post-war constitution.
- Sudan's Bashir first Arab leader to visit Damascus in 8 years Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Syria's capital of Damascus on Sunday in the first such visit by an Arab leader since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011.
- Syria Accuses Turkey, West of Delaying Constitutional Committee Formation Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Monday accused Turkey and Western countries of the delay in the formation of the Syrian constitutional committee.
- Syrian Foreign Minister: Government to Focus on Terrorist Defeat in Idlib Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- The Syrian government's priority is to free the northwestern Idlib province from terrorists, the country's foreign minister Walid Moallem stated.
- Erdogan: Turkey to launch East of Euphrates operation 'any moment' Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country's military is possible to start a new operation against US-backed Kurdish militants in Syria at "any moment."
- Turkey Will Not Let US Prevent Ankara's Op East of Euphrates in Syria – Minister Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- Turkey will not let the United States prevent its military operation in the Syrian territories, east of the Euphrates River, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Monday.
- Iraqi AF Destroys Daesh Facility for Meetings in Hajin, Syria - Defence Ministry Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- The Iraqi air force on 11 December destroyed two buildings in the city of Hajin in Syria where heads of the Daesh* terror group have held regular meetings, the Defence Ministry of Iraq reported.
- Malaysia PM: Countries Have No Right to Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticized Australia's move to recognize West Jerusalem on Sunday, saying that countries have "no rights" to do so.
- 22 Palestinians injured in Israeli attack on Gaza naval march Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Israeli soldiers have wounded at least 22 Palestinians in an attack on demonstrators that had gathered along Gaza's territorial waters to stage a new protest against the Israeli occupation.
- Israeli settlements undermine peace prospects, warns Jordanian FM Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi has warned that the Tel Aviv regime's persistence on land expropriation policies and settlement construction activities in the occupied territories have undermined prospects for a peaceful settlement to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
- Israel steps up West Bank raids as support for Hamas rises Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Nearly two dozen Palestinians have been arrested in a stepped-up Israeli crackdown in the West Bank amid the perception that support for Hamas is rising in the occupied territories.
- UN calls for funds to ease 'deteriorating' humanitarian situation in Gaza and West Bank UN News 17 Dec 2018 -- The need for aid in the occupied Palestinian territory has increased, following a year that has seen a "serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation," said Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the region, in a statement on Monday.
- UN Confirms Presence of 4 Hezbollah Tunnels to Cross Israeli Border - Spokesman Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has confirmed the existence of all four of the tunnels that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) discovered along the border between Israel and Lebanon, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing on Monday.
- UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge 'more effective access' UN News 17 Dec 2018 -- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, on Monday announced that they had received the Government go-ahead to develop community projects in Myanmar's Rakhine province, and called on authorities to provide "more effective access" to the area.
- Russia deploys ten fighter jets to Crimea amid rising tensions with Ukraine Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Russia has deployed a number of fighter jets to the Crimean Peninsula amid rising tensions with Ukraine, following remarks by the country's foreign minister that Kiev was planning an "armed provocation" in the coming weeks and before the end of the year.
- U.S. Ukraine Envoy: Idea Of Extra Russia Sanctions 'Gaining Traction' RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- A drive to impose more sanctions on Russia seems to be "gaining some traction" following a naval confrontation in the Black Sea last month, according to the U.S. special envoy for Ukraine.
- US Not Ruling Out New Sanctions Against Russia Over Kerch Strait - State Dep't Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- Washington has slapped sanctions on Russian individuals and firms operating in Crimea in connection with a November incident, in which Russia seized three Ukrainian Navy vessels that violated its maritime border.
- Indian army locks down Kashmir to prevent protests Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Indian authorities have put pro-independence leaders in New Delhi-controlled Kashmir under house arrest and enforced a security lockdown on the region's main city to foil a planned march against the recent civilian killings by India's troops.
- Indian forces lock down Kashmir, hold pro-independence leaders after weekend violence Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Indian authorities have locked down parts of the disputed region of Kashmir after seven people were killed and dozens more wounded in army fire in the restive Himalayan valley over the weekend.
- Farmer-herder clashes in Nigeria left over 3,600 people dead in 2 years: Amnesty Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Amnesty International says clashes between farmers and semi-nomadic herders in Nigeria have left more than 3,600 people dead since 2016.
- Russia Builds New Military Barracks On Disputed Islands Near Japan RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- Russia says it has built new barracks to house its troops on a disputed island chain near Japan and will build more military facilities there next year.
- What Comes Next in Mueller Probe? VOA 17 Dec 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced last week to three years in prison for a variety of crimes, making him the most high-profile former Trump associate to face jail time in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- Two Men Charged with Conspiracy and Acting as Agents of a Foreign Government US Dept. of Justice 17 Dec 2018 -- An indictment was unsealed today charging Bijan Rafiekian, aka Bijan Kian, 66, of San Juan Capistrano, California, and Kamil Ekim Alptekin, 41, of Istanbul, and a Turkish national, with conspiracy, acting in the United States as illegal agents of the government of Turkey, and making false statements to the FBI.
- Bijan Rafiekian charged over conspiracy to act as foreign government agent Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Bijan Rafiekian, a former business partner of ex-US national security adviser Michael Flynn, has been charged by federal prosecutors with illegally lobbying for the extradition of Turkish dissident Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against the Turkish leader.
- US Alleges Illegal Turkish Influence Scheme VOA 17 Dec 2018 -- The United States is accusing two former business associates of one-time Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn of illegally carrying out a Turkish lobbying campaign in the United States.
- Michael Flynn's Former Associates Face Charges of Illegal Lobbying for Turkey Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- Two of former US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's business associates are facing charges in the United States over illegal lobbying for Turkey, the Justice Department announced in a statement on Monday.
- US Senate to detail Russian election meddling: Report Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- The US Congress will publish a report this week detailing Russia's alleged disinformation campaign surrounding the 2016 presidential election campaign, US media have reported.
- Senate Report: Russian Social-Media-Interference Operations 'Active And Ongoing' RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- The Russian influence campaign on social media in the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign sought particularly to deepen divisions in society and suppress turnout among Democratic voters, according to a report produced for the Senate Intelligence Committee.
- Washington Post: Senate Report Details Vast Russian Meddling Campaign RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- The U.S. Senate is preparing to publish a report this week documenting the enormous breadth of a Russian disinformation campaign that sought to help President Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election, The Washington Post reports.
- Russia's 2016 Election Meddling More Comprehensive Than Realized VOA 17 Dec 2018 -- Two new reports on Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections are shedding more light on the size and scope of the campaign, showing it was far more extensive and thorough than previously understood.
- Moscow Court Rejects Russian National Guard Chief's Libel Lawsuit Against Navalny RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- A court in Moscow has rejected a libel lawsuit filed by the head of Russia's National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, against opposition politician and anticorruption activist Aleksei Navalny.
- DPRK criticizes U.S. for imposing new sanctions against its officials People's Daily 17 Dec 2018 -- A research institute under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) issued a statement Sunday night criticizing the United States for imposing sanctions against DPRK officials.
- Iran will never talk to anybody who sets conditions for it: FM Zarif Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has strongly dismissed the possibility of holding negotiations with the United States after Washington set conditions for talks with Tehran, saying the Islamic Republic will never talk to those who set conditions for it.
- Delusions, strategic mistake led Saudis to invade Yemen: Iran Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Iran says Saudi Arabia's decision to invade Yemen is the result of the Riyadh regime's "delusions" about its military power and the "strategic mistake" it made by undermining Yemeni people's ability to defend themselves.
- Taiwan Relations Act annoyed Deng Xiaoping, declassified files show CNA 17 Dec 2018 -- When the United States Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) nearly four decades ago, then Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) was annoyed about it, saying that would make the Taiwan president "very cocky," according to declassified U.S. government files.
- Saudis rebuff US vote but face Canadian backlash Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Saudi Arabia has denounced a US Senate resolution to end Washington's military support for the kingdom, but faced a new backlash as Canada announced plans to cancel a giant 2014 weapons deal with Riyadh.
- Saudis Denounce U.S. Senate Over Yemen War, Khashoggi Resolutions RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- Saudi Arabia has rejected U.S. Senate resolutions to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen and to put direct blame on the country's crown prince for the murder of journalist critic Jamal Khashoggi.
- Riyadh Rejects US Senate's Position Blaming Saudi Crown Prince in Khashoggi Case Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- Saudi Arabia rejects the position of the US Senate, blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
- UN chief calls for 'credible' investigation into Khashoggi's murder Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a "credible" investigation into the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is said to have been killed by the highest levels of
- US should learn not to blur things out after Zambia denied Bolton's claims: Beijing Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- China says the United States needs to learn not to "blur things out" after Zambia denied Washington's claims that Beijing intends to takeover some of the African country's state power utility to recover debt.
- Indian Court Sentences Politician to Life in Prison VOA 17 Dec 2018 -- In the most significant conviction relating to deadly anti-Sikh riots that swept India in 1984, a senior politician of the opposition Congress Party has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
- US Denies Trump Thinking About Extraditing Gulen to Turkey VOA 17 Dec 2018 -- The White House is denying Turkey's claim that President Donald Trump is thinking about extraditing wanted Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen back to Turkey.
- Latest Data Fuels Fears Over Turkey's Economy VOA 17 Dec 2018 -- Turkish industrial production has plummeted to a nine-year low, according to the latest published figures. The data was part of a swath of negative economic results released Monday, as Turkey continues to be impacted by this year's collapse in its currency.
- Establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine US Dept. of State 17 Dec 2018 -- "The United States congratulates Metropolitan Epifaniy on his election as head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine."
- UK PM announces new date for Brexit vote in parliament Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will return to parliament in mid-January for a vote on her European Union withdrawal agreement, more than a week after she sparked a huge controversy by pulling a planned vote.
- Malaysia sues America's Goldman Sachs in multi-billion dollar scandal Press TV 17 Dec 2018 -- Malaysia has filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs Group Inc -- an American multinational investment bank and financial services company -- for an alleged multi-billion dollar corruption case related to the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
- EU, Kosovo Hold Tense Meeting In Brussels RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- A meeting between senior Kosovar and EU officials has ended in acrimony over tariffs imposed by Pristina on imports from Serbia and the bloc's delays to enact visa-free travel for Kosovars.
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