28 December 2018 Military News
- Pentagon: Afghanistan Could Be Poised for Political Settlement VOA 28 Dec 2018 -- Despite challenges on multiple fronts, Afghanistan seems more likely than at any time in recent history to come to a favorable political settlement, according to a report released this week by the Pentagon, which cited the effects of a recent military escalation coupled with diplomatic initiatives.
- German troops may leave Afghanistan if US forces withdraw: Report Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- Former German Defense Chief General Harald Kujat has warned that a probable American military withdrawal from Afghanistan may jeopardize German troops and force them to leave.
Defense Policy / Programs
- US to boost weapons research following Russia hypersonic missile test: Pentagon Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- The US Defense Department will boost research in hypersonic offense and defense weapons, in response to a recent Russian test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile system, according to US media.
- Ninth AF certifies as JTF-capable HQ with joint, coalition partners AFNS 28 Dec 2018 -- Ninth Air Force achieved certification as a Joint Task Force-capable headquarters Dec. 14, following the conclusion of Mission Readiness Exercise, or MRX, 19-2.
- Stockdale Wraps Up Port Visit to Muscat, Oman NNS 28 Dec 2018 -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) successfully completed a scheduled port visit to Muscat, Oman, Dec. 24.
- First WTI Takes Command of Naval Warship NNS 28 Dec 2018 -- Cmdr. Lenard Mitchell became the first Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) to take command of a Navy warship during a recent ceremony here aboard Freedom Class littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9).
- Ukraine Has Become Significantly Closer to NATO Over 4 Years - Defence Minister Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- Kiev has become significantly closer to NATO over the past four years, Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak said.
- Latest Russian strategic missile makes US missile defenses 'useless': Moscow Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- Russia's latest strategic weapon can travel 27 times faster than the speed of sound, making it impossible to intercept by missile defense systems, a senior Russian official has announced.
- Official Reveals Russia's Avangard Hypersonic Missile Speed Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle flies 27 times faster than the speed of sound, making it impossible to intercept, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russia's Zvezda television channel.
- Russia's upgraded Tu-22M3 strategic missile-carrying bomber performs debut flight TASS 28 Dec 2018 -- Russia's latest modernized Tupolev Tu-22M3M long-range missile-carrying bomber has performed its debut flight, a source in the domestic defense industry told TASS on Friday.
- Laser weapons ready as China creates cutting-edge military hardware People's Daily 28 Dec 2018 -- The newest members of China's military arsenal are a host of laser weapons, as the country makes a serious commitment to cutting-edge hardware.
- German military plans to recruit foreign nationals: Report Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- German military authorities are reportedly considering plans to recruit citizens from other European countries to strengthen the armed forces of Germany as they struggle to fill their ranks.
- German Military Looks Into Recruiting EU Citizens Amid Staff Shortage - Reports Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- After years of decreasing military spending, the country's forces reportedly have to deal with a lack of personnel and equipment. The Defence Ministry is seeking a way to rectify this by requesting bigger budgets and enticing more people to serve in the military.
- Iranian Army strongly protecting eastern borders: Cmdr. IRNA 28 Dec 2018 -- The Iranian Army is strongly protecting the eastern borders of the country, according to the commander of ground forces of the Army.
- Trump's Iraq visit unites Iraqi lawmakers against US troop presence Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- Iraqi lawmakers have demanded that United States forces be expelled from the country in response to US President Donald Trump's abrupt visit, seen as a violation of national sovereignty.
- Outgoing Pentagon chief Mattis rejects Netanyahu's appeal: Report Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- Outgoing United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis has rejected an appeal made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to approve an Israeli sale of US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets, a report says.
- Mattis Allegedly Killed Israel-Croatia F-16 Deal Despite Plea of Netanyahu Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- Zagreb and Tel Aviv announced their intention to strike a deal on the sale of modified US-made F-16 jets this March. Officials in Washington were angered at Israel for going behind their backs and challenging their sellers, a correspondent for Israel's Channel 10 claims.
- Israel's Right to Self-Defense US Dept. of State 28 Dec 2018 -- Press Statement
- US Backs Israeli Airstrikes on Iranian Targets Across Middle East - State Dept. Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- The United States fully supports Israel's right to protect itself from Iranian adventurism in the region that threatens the existence of the Jewish state, and Washington will guarantee that Israel has the means to do so, the US Department of State said in a press release on Friday.
- Japan Shares Video of South Korean Ship Allegedly Locking Radar on Plane Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- Japan's Ministry of Defense released video footage on Friday to support its claims that a South Korean naval ship locked its fire-control radar antenna onto a Japanese plane during a patrol in the Sea of Japan.
- Japan Reportedly Sent Out Jets to Intercept Chinese Spy Plane Over E China Sea Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- Japan has regularly scrambled its jets to escort Chinese aircraft approaching close to national airspace in 2018, with a previous incident taking place on 14 December and the overall number of intercepts reaching 7 in just the last half of this year.
- Pakistan Denies Chinese Infrastructure Projects Have Military Dimensions RFE/RL 28 Dec 2018 -- Pakistan has denied that a multibillion-dollar infrastructure project built and financed by China has a "military dimension."
- Senior State Department Official Previewing Secretary Pompeo's Upcoming Travel to Brazil and Colombia US Dept. of State 28 Dec 2018 -- Special Briefing by State Department Official
- In 2019, 'reasons for hope' in a world still on 'red alert': UN chief Guterres UN News 28 Dec 2018 -- Last year, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued "a red alert" over a range of dangers confronting the world, which "still persist" as 2019 looms: "These are anxious times for many, and our world is undergoing a stress test," the UN chief said on Saturday in his message for the New Year.
- Children suffering 'atrocities' as number of countries in conflict hits new peak: UNICEF UN News 28 Dec 2018 -- The world "has failed" to sufficiently protect children caught up in conflict and millions more are at risk of harm, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) revealed on Friday, adding that national leaders need to hold perpetrators of violence more accountable.
- Yemen: Committee brings warring parties to the table in Hudaydah, builds on ceasefire UN News 28 Dec 2018 -- Yemen's warring parties have begun the process this week of implementing a comprehensive ceasefire agreement across the key rebel-held port city of Hudaydah, raising hopes that groundbreaking consultations convened by the UN in Sweden can lead to a lasting peace through further talks next year.
- Saudi-led coalition violates ceasefire agreement 64 times in 24 hours IRNA 28 Dec 2018 -- A ceasefire agreement between Yemeni forces and the Saudi-led coalition was violated 64 times in 24 hours by the coalition forces, Spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said on Friday according to Yemen's Saba news agency.
- Houthi Elements Killed in Clashes with Yemeni National Army in Taiz Governorate SPA 28 Dec 2018 -- Dozens of Iranian-backed Houthi militias were killed and wounded in clashes with the National Army forces on the Dhibab Front in the western governorate of Taiz.
- Kremlin: Entry of Syrian Army to Menbej positive step towards restoring stability IRNA 28 Dec 2018 -- The Russian presidency welcomed the entry of the Syrian Arab Army to Menbej area in the northern countryside of Aleppo and the hoisting of the Syrian flag there.
- Iran welcomes hoisting of Syria flag in Menbej IRNA 28 Dec 2018 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Friday welcomed hoisting of Syrian flag in Menbej, north of the country.
- Syrian army foils terrorists' infiltration attempts in Hama countryside IRNA 28 Dec 2018 -- Army units operating in Hama northern countryside thwarted attempts by terrorist groups to infiltrate and attack military posts positioned in the area to protect the safe villages and towns.
- Syria itself should decide on foreign military advisors: Russia IRNA 28 Dec 2018 -- Syria itself should decide on continuation of presence of foreign military advisors in the country, a Russian official said.
- Iran: Return of Syrian Army to Manbij, 'important step' Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- Iran's Foreign Ministry has welcomed the arrival of Syrian government forces for the first time in years in the strategic northern city of Manbij, previously held by Kurdish militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
- Kuwait to reopen embassy in Syria for first time in seven years Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- In another sign of thawing relations between the Syrian government and the Arab world after years of diplomatic row in the wake of foreign-sponsored militancy, Kuwait has announced plans to reopen its embassy in Damascus next month.
- Russia, Turkey, Iran to hold talks on Syria conflict early next week Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- Russia, Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran are set to hold a new round of talks on the ongoing foreign-sponsored Syria crisis early next year, in the wake of US President Donald Trump's decision last week to withdraw American troops from the war-ravaged Arab country.
- Bahrain follows in UAE's footsteps, officially confirms resuming work at embassy in 'brotherly' Syria Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- Bahrain says it will resume operations at its embassy in Syria amid new efforts by Persian Gulf states to improve relations with Damascus as the war against foreign-backed terrorists winds down.
- Syrian army enters Manbij near Turkish border, raises flag Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- The Syrian army has entered Manbij near the Turkish border, marking the return of territories held by US-backed militants to the government fold for the first time in years, an army spokesman said Friday.
- Syrian Forces Enter Key Northern City, As Russia Hails Move RFE/RL 28 Dec 2018 -- Syrian government forces entered the key northern city of Manbij for the first time in six years after a Kurdish-led militia said it invited Damascus to protect the town from the threat of a Turkish military offensive.
- Damascus Regaining Control Over Manbij is Step to Stabilise Crisis - Tehran Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- Earlier in the day, the Syrian Arab Army announced that government forces had raised the country's flag in the city, while the Kurdish YPG units had left Manbij in order to fight against the Daesh* terrorist group to the east of the Euphrates.
- Syrian Forces Trying to Run 'Psychological Operation' in Manbij - Erdogan Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- The Syrian state broadcaster earlier reported that the Syrian Arab Army had entered Manbij and raised the flag of the Arab Republic after receiving a request from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to take control of the city amid Turkey's envisaged offensive in the area.
- SDF Backs Syrian Army's Entry Into Manbij Amid Turkish Threat - Spokeswoman Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) support the Syrian army's entry into Manbij to protect the Syrian territory from possible invasion by Turkey, SDF spokeswoman Jihan Ahmed told Sputnik.
- Syrian Forces Enter Manbij and Raise Country's Flag - General Staff Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- Earlier in the day, Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) urged Damascus to take control of the city amid a statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said Ankara was ready to start an operation in the area.
- Kurdish YPG Prepares to Focus on Anti-Daesh Fight East of Euphrates Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- The development comes as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier Ankara was ready to start an operation against the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria's Manbij if Washington does not remove the militia from there.
- Turkish Media 'Exposes' French Bases in Syria Amid US Withdrawal Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- Days after US President Donald Trump ordered US troops to withdraw from Syria, French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said that Paris would maintain its presence in Syria.
- US Denies Syrian Forces Taking Over Manbij VOA 28 Dec 2018 -- Even as regional forces race to position themselves for the imminent withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, U.S. military officials caution nothing on the ground has changed yet.
- Russia Says Crimea Barrier Is Complete RFE/RL 28 Dec 2018 -- Russian authorities say they have finished building a barrier dividing the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow forcibly seized in 2014, from mainland Ukraine.
- G5 Sahel Force Struggles with Funding, Coordination VOA 28 Dec 2018 -- The G5 Sahel force, a joint force of five Sahel region countries tasked with fighting militants including Boko Haram and al-Qaida, is struggling with funding and lacks coordination among member states, which some officials and analysts warn has undermined its counterterrorism mission.
- US, Israel to block planned Palestinian statehood initiative at UN Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- The United States and Israel have planned to block an upcoming Palestinian statehood initiative at the United Nations Security Council.
- Trump Once Again Threatens to Shut US-Mexico Border VOA 28 Dec 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday once again threatened to close the entire U.S.-Mexico border and cut aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador if Congress fails to give him money to fund the border wall.
- Where's Putin's Mojo? RFE/RL 28 Dec 2018 -- He's been in power for as long as many Russians can remember. He carried the last presidential election with nearly 77 percent of the vote. And his country commands such attention abroad that its cartoon about a little girl and her bear buddy has been cast by some in the West as a hybrid-warfare "superweapon."
- Russian Envoy Says Moscow, London Agreed To Partially Restore Diplomatic Missions RFE/RL 28 Dec 2018 -- Russia's ambassador to Britain says the two countries have agreed to gradually reinstate dozens of diplomatic personnel who were expelled by both sides following the Novichok poisoning in Salisbury.
- Rusal Names New Chairman As Part Of Deal To End U.S. Sanctions RFE/RL 28 Dec 2018 -- Russian aluminum giant Rusal says Jean-Pierre Thomas has been elected by the board of directors as the company's new chairman as part of restructuring moves made in exchange for the lifting of U.S. sanctions.
- Russian Embassy in UK Says It Is Due to Reinstate Half of Its Staff in 2019 Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- The Russian Embassy in London said earlier in December that the UK authorities are trying to create a hostile image of Moscow in order to hinder the Russian diplomats' interaction with the country's general public.
- Revolutionary's Daughter Says Iran's Islamic Republic Weakened, Could Collapse RFE/RL 28 Dec 2018 -- The daughter of one of the founders of the Islamic republic has warned that, while still strong, the system her late father helped establish some 40 years ago is weakened and could someday collapse.
- Party's political, legal leadership highlighted People's Daily 28 Dec 2018 -- The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee reviewed on Thursday an intra-Party regulation on political and legal work.
- Rights Activists Fear China's Human Rights Record Will Deteriorate VOA 28 Dec 2018 -- In China, 2018 has been a year that rights defenders worldwide say was extremely repressive, particularly when it comes to religious persecution.
- India Approves $1.4Bln for First Manned Spaceflight to be Launched in 2022 Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed and demonstrated most of the baseline technologies essential for undertaking a human spaceflight mission. Prior to the actual launch, two unmanned flights in full complement will be carried out to gain confidence on the technology and mission management aspects.
- China Launches More Rockets than US, Russia in 2018 Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- China launched a third telecommunication technology test satellite early Tuesday morning, marking the country's 37th space rocket launch of 2018.
- Former Israeli General, Polling Closest to Netanyahu, Joins 2019 Elections Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- Benny Gantz, a former Israeli armed forces chief who according to recent polls is the runner-up to current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, formally established a political party on Thursday to join the 2019 election race.
- Four killed, 11 injured in Egypt bus bombing Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- A bomb explosion has hit a bus transporting tourists near Egypt's world-famous Giza pyramids, leaving three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide dead, the Egyptian Interior Ministry says.
- Cross-strait stability a shared responsibility: President Tsai CNA 28 Dec 2018 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Friday that maintaining stability in relations across the Taiwan Strait is a shared responsibility to be borne by both sides, and she called on China to make an effort, with Taiwan, to achieve the objective.
- May's Brexit deal can get through parliament: Foreign minister Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt has said that the parliament can pass Prime Minister Theresa May's controversial deal on the country's withdrawal from the European Union if the bloc provides clarification that the Northern Irish "backstop" will be not permanent.
- Sudan police attack 'peaceful' protesters near Khartoum Press TV 28 Dec 2018 -- Sudanese security forces have fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of demonstrators near the capital Khartoum amid calls by opposition groups for more anti-government protests.
- Respond to 'legitimate grievances' of Sudanese people, UN human rights experts urge, following protests UN News 28 Dec 2018 -- The excessive use of force during large-scale demonstrations against food and fuel shortages in Sudan is alarming, and an infringement on the right of peaceful assembly, said UN independent experts on Friday.
- 'Continue working together' UN chief urges DR Congo, as country heads to polls UN News 28 Dec 2018 -- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on all those playing an active political role in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to "continue working together" to ensure free and fair elections, as the country heads to polls this Sunday.
- Chaos, Violence Predicted Ahead of Long-Delayed DRC Poll VOA 28 Dec 2018 -- As the Democratic Republic of Congo hurtles toward contentious, repeatedly delayed elections Sunday, observers say they're worried about chaos and violence surrounding the polls.
- Kabila Defends Decision to Hold DRC Poll After Delays, Fire VOA 28 Dec 2018 -- Congolese President Joseph Kabila is defending his country's decision to hold national elections Sunday following a series of delays and a fire that destroyed thousands of voting machines.
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