02 January 2019 Military News
- Trump Gives No Timetable For Syria Withdrawal, Vows To Protect Kurdish Fighters RFE/RL 02 Jan 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has said U.S. forces will withdraw from Syria "over a period of time," insisting he wants to protect U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.
- Taliban Tunnel Bomb Hits Afghan Army Base VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- Taliban insurgents have detonated a powerful bomb near a major military base in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, killing at least five soldiers and wounding six others.
- Five soldiers killed in Taliban bomb attack on army outpost Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- Five Afghan soldiers have been killed in a bomb explosion carried out by Taliban militants in a tunnel below an army outpost in southern Afghanistan.
- US Top Commander in Afghanistan Tells Troops to Be Ready for 'Any Outcome' Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- According to the top US general in Afghanistan, peace talks with the Taliban could go either way and NATO troops must be ready for "any outcome."
Defense Policy / Programs
- Trump's New Pentagon Chief Recuses Himself From Matters Involving Boeing Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recused himself from "participating in matters in which the Boeing Company is a party" as long as he remains in the Cabinet post, a spokesman told reporters Wednesday.
- An enduring equipment set for CENTCOM Army News 02 Jan 2019 -- Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley has consistently stressed three priorities since he assumed the Army's top position in 2015: personnel readiness, training readiness, and equipment readiness.
- US SOF continue to enhance their ability alongside POL allies through culmination exercise AFNS 02 Jan 2019 -- Clouds make way for the first pass of combat controllers from the U.S. and Polish forces as they free fall out of an MC130J Commando during a culmination exercise near Krakow, Poland recently. The joint team is determined to put all their recent training into action as they steer their parachutes onto the calculated target.
- Master gunners bring expertise to brigade combat team Army News 02 Jan 2019 -- When you think of the M1A2 Abrams and Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, stealth does not come to mind. They do not glide, they rumble. They do not avoid obstacles; they maneuver through them. They do not poke holes, they pulverize. The large, heavy metal vehicles evoke power and strength, but they require a crew and a master of its weapon's systems to be lethal.
- Chung-Hoon Sailors Combine Forces for Maritime Security Operations Training NNS 02 Jan 2019 -- U.S. Navy Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) recently completed training for maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden during the month of December.
- USS Porter Arrives in Turkey NNS 02 Jan 2019 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) arrives in Aksaz, Turkey for a regular scheduled port visit on its sixth forward-deployed naval forces patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, Jan. 1, 2019.
- USS South Dakota to be Commissioned Feb. 2 NNS 02 Jan 2019 -- The Navy's newest fast-attack submarine, USS South Dakota (SSN 790), will be commissioned at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, Feb. 2, 2019, as the seventeenth Virginia-class submarine to join the fleet.
- Russia to expand Iskander arsenal in 2019, test 200 new weapons Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- The Russian military is slated to expand its arsenal of Iskander-M nuclear-capable missiles in 2019, one of the nearly 200 new weapons that Moscow continues to develop under its new state armament program.
- China's medium-sized stealth fighter jet FC-31 may be deployed on future aircraft carriers: sources People's Daily 02 Jan 2019 -- China's future aircraft carriers will see stealth warplanes on their decks, likely the medium-sized fighter jet FC-31, said Chinese military experts as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is procuring stealth parts for China's aircraft carrier-based fighter jet manufacturer.
- Chinese naval fleets escort 3,400 foreign ships over past 10 years People's Daily 02 Jan 2019 -- China's naval fleets have escorted 3,400 foreign ships over the past 10 years, around 51.5 percent of the total escorted, according to a Ministry of National Defense statement.
- China's Electromagnetic Railgun Ship Appears to Start Sea Trials Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- A Chinese Type 072II-class landing ship armed with a large electromagnetic railgun (ER) mounted on its bow departed from the coast in order to set sail over the open ocean, according to reports.
- Deliveries of Russian S-400 Systems to Start in 2020 - Indian Defence Ministry Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- India will start receiving Russian-made S-400 air defense systems in 2020 with deliveries expected to last through 2023, Indian Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said on Wednesday.
- Indian Government Justifies Higher Cost of Locally-Developed Su-30s Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- Disagreeing with the opposition's interpretation of an audit report that found that Su-30 fighter jets supplied to the Indian Air Force by the local firm HAL are costlier that those supplied by the Russian OEM, the India government has clarified that the version being locally manufactured have been modified for enhanced operational capability.
- Rouhani: Iran not hesitating to empower defense capabilities IRNA 02 Jan 2019 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the progress in the military field as positive while emphasizing Tehran's determination to boost its defensive capabilities.
- Iran's defensive budget up by 21% next year: Defense Min. IRNA 02 Jan 2019 -- If the sources of budget are met, Iran's defensive budget is expected to rise by 21% in the next Iranian calendar year of 1398 (to start on March 21, 2019), Minister of Defense Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Wednesday.
- Pompeo, Netanyahu Fail to Bridge Gap on Israel-Croatia F-16 Deal - Reports Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- Earlier, the Trump administration accused Israel of breaking the terms of the US-Israeli F-16 fighter jet contract after Tel Aviv attempted to sell Zagreb a batch of 12 of its used F-16s equipped with custom Israeli-made electronic systems.
- China starts constructing 'most advanced' warship for Pakistan: Report Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- China has started building an advanced warship that would be delivered to Pakistan as part of a major arms deal between the two neighboring countries, state media says.
- 2 January 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 02 Jan 2019
- China launches ecological protection facilities on Nansha Islands People's Daily 02 Jan 2019 -- China put facilities related to ecological protection and restoration into service on three reefs of the Nansha Islands on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
- UN paying no attention to implementation of Swedish Peace Agreement IRNA 02 Jan 2019 -- Al-Hudaydah Council of Yemen on Wednesday criticized the United Nations' performance in implementing Sweden Peace Agreement in Al- Hudaydah city, announcing that the United Nations was not paying attention to the implementation of the agreement and in case of failure the organization will be responsible.
- Iranians can 'do whatever they want' in Syria, Trump says Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump says Iranians can "do whatever they want" in Syria, dodging a question about when the US would withdraw from the war ravaged country.
- Kurdish fighters withdraw from Manbij: Syria Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- Syria says hundreds of US-backed Kurdish fighters have withdrawn from the city of Manbij near the border with Turkey to take position to the east of the Euphrates.
- Trump: US Wants to Protect Kurds in Syria Even After Troops Withdrawal Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- In December, Trump declared victory over Daesh while White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said that the United States had started to withdraw its troops from the country, adding that this development did not signal the end of the US-led coalition's campaign in Syria.
- PHOTOS Allegedly Show Turkey Massing More Military Equipment on Syrian Border Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- Earlier, President Trump doubled down on his decision to pull the estimated 2,000 troops stationed in Syria out of the country, saying the move would fulfil his campaign promise to withdraw from the "never ending wars" the US has been engaged in.
- India to Deport 2nd Batch of Rohingyas Kept in Assam Detention Camp - Reports Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- Indian authorities are now taking steps to identify Rohingyas by collecting their biometric data and will detain them so that they may be deported to Myanmar in batches.
- Somalia Foreign Ministry Declares UN Special Envoy 'Persona Non-Grata' Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- A UN compound was shelled Tuesday in Mogadishu and two UN staff members were injured. UN Special Representative Nicholas Haysom has strongly condemned the attack which "may amount to a violation of international humanitarian law."
- Soldier Killed, Two Wounded In Eastern Ukraine Clashes, Despite Truce RFE/RL 02 Jan 2019 -- Ukraine says one of its soldiers has been killed and two others wounded in clashes in the country's east despite a fresh cease-fire agreement between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists.
- Israel OKed construction plans for over 10,000 settler units in 2018: PLO Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) says Israeli officials approved plans for the construction of more than 10,000 homes in the West Bank last year, heedless of the international outcry against the Tel Aviv regime's land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- Israeli military almost completes 'sea barrier' off Gaza Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- The Israeli military has nearly completed building a "sea barrier" off the Gaza Strip to further tighten an already crippling blockade against the Palestinian coastal enclave.
- Pakistan Shoots Down Indian 'Spy Drone' Over Disputed Kashmir RFE/RL 02 Jan 2019 -- Pakistan's military claims it has shot down a second Indian "spy drone" in two days flying in Pakistani airspace over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
- 'Indian Spy Quadcopter' Shot Down at Border - Pakistan Military Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- While claiming that an Indian spy drone was spotted inside its territory and shot down on Tuesday, Pakistan has informed that at least four such UAVs were detected and brought down within the last year. The Indian Army, however, has dismissed the claims as "plain propaganda".
- Attack on UN compound in Somalia may be 'violation of international humanitarian law' UN News 02 Jan 2019 -- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned Tuesday's attacks against the UN compound in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, saying that intentionally attacking UN personnel may constitute "a violation of international humanitarian law."
- UN Investigating Expulsion of Ambassador From Somalia - Spokesman Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- The United Nations is looking into the expulsion of UN Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Haysom from Mogadishu, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said in a press briefing on Wednesday.
- Somalia expels top UN envoy over 'meddlesome' approach Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- Somalia's UN-backed government has expelled the top United Nations envoy to the war-ravaged country, accusing him of meddling in its internal affairs after he challenged recent actions of UN-paid Somali police forces.
- France Concerned With Mass Murders in Mali After Almost 40 Killed - Ministry Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- The French Foreign Ministry expressed concern on Wednesday over the situation in Mali, where almost 40 civilians were killed by attackers in the central Mopti region, which neighbors Burkina Faso.
- Trump Pushes Anew for Wall Funding in Shutdown Dispute VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump pushed again Wednesday for taxpayer funding of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, even as he claimed without evidence that Mexico is already paying for it through a new trade deal and that much of the barrier has been built.
- National Antidoping Agencies Urge WADA To Act Now On Russia's Missed Deadline RFE/RL 02 Jan 2019 -- Sixteen national antidoping organizations (NADOs) have called on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to take immediate action following Russia's failure to meet a December 31 deadline to hand over data from its antidoping laboratory.
- WADA Athlete Committee Calls for Russian Anti-Doping Agency to Be Banned Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- The Athlete Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Wednesday has called for declaring the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) non-complaint with the World Anti-Doping Code.
- U.S. Demands Explanation From Russia Over Arrest Of Ex-Marine On Spying Charges RFE/RL 02 Jan 2019 -- The United States is seeking an explanation for why Russia arrested a retired U.S. Marine on spying charges in Moscow and will demand his immediate return if it determines his detention is inappropriate, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
- Moscow Grants Washington Consular Access to US Citizen Suspected of Espionage Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- On 31 December, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Paul Whelan, accusing him of espionage and launching a criminal case against him.
- Russia Grants Consular Access to Retired Marine Held on Spy Charges VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- Russia has allowed consular access to a retired U.S. Marine who has been detained on espionage charges, the country's foreign ministry said Wednesday.
- Resumption of inter-Korean cooperation projects possible through int'l community: S. Korean ministry People's Daily 02 Jan 2019 -- The resumption of cooperation projects between South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would be possible through cooperation with the international community, Seoul's unification ministry said on Wednesday.
- 'We Will Set That Up': Trump to Meet With Kim in 'Not Too Distant Future' Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump said during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that he has received a letter from North Korea's Chairman Kim Jong-un and will likely have another summit with him in the foreseeable future.
- 'Korean Peninsula Problem Back on Dialogue' - China Praises US, N Korea Efforts Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- China supports Washington's and Pyongyang's efforts toward boosting mutual trust, and promoting denuclearization and political settlement to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said on Wednesday, commenting on US and North Korean leaders' pledges to continue dialogue.
- 'North Korea Will Not Make, Test Nuclear Weapons': Trump Ready to Meet Kim Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Tuesday that he was ready to denuclearise the country and continue dialogue with Washington and Seoul to resolve the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
- Trump Says He Expects to Meet Again Soon With North Korea's Kim VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he received a "great letter" from Kim Jong Un and will likely meet with the North Korean leader in the near future.
- Kim's New Year Address Signals He's Willing to Deal or Walk Away VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- Sitting in a leather chair, wearing a western-style suit, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his annual address to the nation January 1. He announced he was ready to meet U.S. President Donald Trump anytime to continue talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but warned Pyongyang may take a "new path" if U.S. sanctions and pressure against the country continue.
- Iran firms in talks to develop South Pars oil layer Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- Iran is in talks with several domestic companies to extract more oil from South Pars after foreign companies abandoned the plan in the face of US sanctions, ISNA news agency reported on Wednesday.
- No foreign power can make decisions on legitimate EU-Iran trade ties: Mogherini Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc will not allow any foreign meddling - even from its closest ally - in its legitimate trade ties with other countries amid US attempts to kill Europe's business relations with Iran following its withdrawal from a multilateral nuclear deal.
- Xi says "China must be, will be reunified" as key anniversary marked People's Daily 02 Jan 2019 -- President Xi Jinping on Wednesday said China must be and will be reunified, as he addressed a gathering in Beijing to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Chinese mainland's Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.
- Taiwan will never accept 'one country, two systems' scheme: Tsai CNA 02 Jan 2019 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Wednesday that she has never accepted the so-called "1992 consensus" and will never do so because it is tantamount to the "one China, two systems" formula devised by China to bring Taiwan under its control.
- Taiwan-U.S. ties at best in 40 years: Taiwan's U.S. representative CNA 02 Jan 2019 -- Taiwan-U.S. relations are at their best since Washington cut formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979, Taiwan's representative to the United States Stanley Kao (高碩泰) said Tuesday, and he was confident the strong ties would continue in 2019.
- Highlights of Xi's speech at Taiwan message anniversary event People's Daily 02 Jan 2019 -- President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at a gathering held Wednesday in Beijing to commemorate the 40th anniversary of issuing Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.
- In stern warning, China's President Xi says independence will bring profound disaster to Taiwan Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping says Taiwan "will be and must be reunified" with mainland China, warning that independence will spell "profound disaster" for the self-ruled island.
- Taiwan 'Will Never Accept' One Country, Two Systems Deal With China - President Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- In response to Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech earlier on Wednesday, in which he reiterated that China would "make no promise to renounce the use of force" in eventually unifying both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen has herself dug in, saying Taiwan "will never accept the concept of 'one country, two systems.'"
- China May Use Force to Counter Foreign Meddling in Taiwan - President Xi Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- China won't promise to abstain from using force when countering foreign meddling and separatist movements in Taiwan, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.
- Respect or Use of Force? China-Taiwan Divide Seen Getting Deeper VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping told Taiwan Wednesday it's time for the two sides to unify and didn't rule out using force to make that happen. A day earlier, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen told China to respect her government's existence and the democratic resolve of her self-ruled island's people. Tsai rejects Beijing's claim that both sides fall under one flag.
- Chinese President Calls for Peaceful Reunification with Self-Ruled Taiwan VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping say the self-governed island of Taiwan should abandon any thoughts of independence and accept that is part of the mainland.
- UK police probe Manchester stabbing as 'terrorist' attack Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- British police are conducting a "terrorist investigation" into a triple stabbing attack at a Manchester railway station on New Year's Eve, the city's top officer says.
- Confirmed Ebola Cases in DR Congo Hit 560 - Country's Health Ministry Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- The number of confirmed Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo, DRC) increased to 560, while 368 people have been reported dead, the country's Ministry of Public Health said on Wednesday.
- India Expects US to Extradite Mumbai Attack Conspirator - Minister Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- Tahawwur Hussain Rana, alias David Headley, an American citizen of Pakistani origin convicted in the 26 November Mumbai terror attacks, is presently locked up in a US federal prison.
- Australia Facing Scrutiny Over Decision to Strip Citizenship of Suspected Terrorist VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- Australia's government is facing questions over its decision to strip a suspected Australian-born Islamic militant of his citizenship, after it was revealed he might not be a dual citizen of Fiji.
- China takes steps to boost commercial use of remote sensing satellites People's Daily 02 Jan 2019 -- China is speeding up its commercial use of remote sensing satellites, a key move to boost the industry, said Xu Wen, president of the China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application, Science and Technology Daily reported on Jan. 2.
- Experts Warn Gulf Rift Widening as Qatar Quits OPEC VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- Qatar's official withdrawal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) this week has renewed debate over the rift with its neighbor Saudi Arabia, with some observers saying the move could further complicate the relationship between the two Gulf countries.
- Castro castigates US for 'return to confrontation' with Cuba Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- Cuba's Communist Party leader Raul Castro has slammed the administration of US President Donald Trump for resorting back to hostile policies toward the Caribbean nation as well as meddling in Latin America.
- Foreign Secretary Hunt: Britain's role in a post-Brexit world UK FCO 02 Jan 2019 -- Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt spoke at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore and announced the Partnership for the Future.
- Cancelling Brexit will have 'devastating' social consequences, Hunt says Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned that if the government cancels results of a June 2016 referendum in which Britons decided for their country to leave the European Union, it would have harsh impacts on the United Kingdom's social fabric.
- UK Struggling With Post-Brexit Identity Crisis VOA 02 Jan 2019 -- British ministers are seeking to rebrand Britain for the country's exit from the European Union, but they're divided – as their critics are – about how the country should see itself and be seen by others post-Brexit. The divisions are revealing a country deep in the throes of an identity crisis.
- Sudan restricts social media access to reign in protests Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- Sudanese authorities have blocked access to popular social media platforms used to organize and broadcast nationwide protests against the 29-year rule by President Omar al-Bashir and his administration's economic policies.
- Lebanon 'close to forming government early in new year' Press TV 02 Jan 2019 -- Following a lengthy meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri says the two sides are "determined" to form a new government early in the new year as part of efforts to end an eight-month political stalemate.
- Former IDF Intel Chief Wanted to Assassinate Syrian President Assad – Report Sputnik 02 Jan 2019 -- However, Aviv Kochavi's proposal was reportedly rejected by the Israeli military, which preferred to concentrate on curbing Tehran's alleged entrenchment in the country as well as the transfer of advanced weaponry to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah.
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