03 January 2019 Military News
- Security Council condemns attacks on Afghan security forces which killed at least 27 UN News 03 Jan 2019 -- The United Nations Security Council has condemned "in the strongest terms" a series of coordinated attacks aimed at security checkpoints in northern Afghanistan which took place on Monday night, killing at least 27 and wounding dozens of others
- Trump Calls On Russia, Pakistan To Take More Active Role In Afghan Conflict RFE/RL 03 Jan 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump urged other countries, specifically Russia, Pakistan, and India, to become more involved in the fighting in Afghanistan as he argued against continued long-term presence of U.S. troops in the war-torn country.
- 'Right To Be There'? Afghan Officials, Observers Dispute Trump's View Of Soviet Occupation RFE/RL 03 Jan 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump's claim that the Soviet Union was in the "right" when it occupied Afghanistan for nearly a decade did not go down well with many Afghans, and his take on Moscow's justification for invading the country was also questioned.
- US to Keep Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan - Reports Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- The United States plans to withdraw around 7,000 out of its 14,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan, however, the direct-action Special Operations Forces (SOF) will remain in the country to continue strike missions against the Taliban militants and the Daesh terror group, media reported.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Shanahan Stresses National Defense Strategy in First Meetings as Acting Secretary AFPS 03 Jan 2019 -- Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan will use the National Defense Strategy as his blueprint moving forward, Pentagon officials said.
- Shanahan calls China his top priority as he takes over from Mattis Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan says he will make China his top priority after taking over from General James Mattis, who was recently fired by President Donald Trump.
- New Acting Defense Chief Takes Over At Pentagon RFE/RL 03 Jan 2019 -- Patrick Shanahan has taken over the helm of the Pentagon, as U.S. President Donald Trump attacked his Defense Department predecessor, pointing to what he said was a lack of success in Afghanistan.
- Joint, coalition, Total Force Airmen expedite Rapid Global Mobility AFNS 03 Jan 2019 -- The 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, enables rapid global mobility with a diverse group of Airmen and Soldiers from all walks of life.
- One base, one boss: 355th wing strengthens mission competence AFNS 03 Jan 2019 -- After winning the 2018 U.S. Air Force Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base continued to strengthen its mission competence by officially re-designating as the 355th Wing, Jan. 2, 2019.
- USS Porter Departs Aksaz, Turkey NNS 03 Jan 2019 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departed Aksaz, Turkey following a regular scheduled port visit on its sixth forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, Jan. 3, 2019.
- US to conduct missile drill on Japan's Okinawa: Report Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- The United States' military is reportedly seeking to carry out its first ever missile drill on and around the Japanese Island of Okinawa as part of attempts to contain what Washington sees as China's growing maritime prowess in the region.
- US Plans to Deploy Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems on Japan's Okinawa – Report Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- The southern Japanese island of Okinawa currently hosts more than 20,000 American troops. The US' military presence on the island has repeatedly been criticised by local residents for driving up crime, as well as disrupting the area via aircraft and vehicle crashes in and around the bases.
- Poland first Ally to safeguard Baltic Airspace in 2019 NATO 03 Jan 2019 -- ŠIAULIAI, Lithuania -- The Polish Air Force took over the responsibility for leading NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission out of Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, from the Belgian Air Force on 3 January 2019. A traditional handover/takeover ceremony has been conducted at the Lithuanian Air Base every four months since 2004. The Polish Air Force was the eighth Ally to assume the mission at the end of 2005 and has now returned to accomplish the task for the first four months in 2019.
- China showcases own version of 'Mother of All Bombs' Global Times 03 Jan 2019 -- China's arms industry giant NORINCO for the first time showcased a new type of massive aerial bomb, which it dubbed the Chinese version of the "Mother of All Bombs" due to its huge destruction potential that is claimed to be only second to nuclear weapons.
- China Meets Growing Demand for Armed Drones in Middle East VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- China is meeting a growing demand for armed drones in the Middle East, adding new military capabilities to an already tense security situation, according to a new report from the London-based Royal United Services Institute.
- FM Zarif: US in no position to lecture Iran on UNSC Res. 2231 Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has dismissed a new US claim that Iran's launch of space rockets and missiles breaches a Security Council resolution that endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal, saying Washington has already violated that UN document and thus cannot comment on it.
- 'US is in No Position to Lecture': Tehran Balks at US Warning on Missile Tests Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- Iran's foreign minister has responded to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's warning that Iran would face severe economic and diplomatic consequences if it went ahead with plans to engage in further ballistic missile testing.
- US Warns Iran Against Conducting Planned Missile Launches - Pompeo Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- In late December, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said that any efforts by foreign countries to stop the country from testing missiles would be futile.
- Taiwanese Navy Reveals Hsiung Feng-3 Anti-Ship Missile Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- A few hours before Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech Wednesday emphasizing Taiwanese independence is destined for a "dead end," the Taiwanese Navy unveiled its latest supersonic cruise missile, fired from a futuristic-looking corvette.
- US Delegation Offers Turkey Patriot Air Defence Systems Deal - Reports Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- A US delegation has made an official offer to Turkey to purchase US-made Patriot air defence systems, Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday, citing sources.
- Turkey, Iraq will deepen cooperation against terrorism in region: Erdogan Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey and neighboring Iraq will deepen their cooperation against terrorism in the region, after tensions between Ankara and Baghdad over Turkey's airstrikes against purported positions of Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.
- Military Helicopter Crashes in Nigeria Leaving 5 People Dead – Reports Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- A military helicopter crashed while fighting in the northern Nigerian state of Borno leaving five people dead, the Nation news outlet reported on Thursday.
- 3 January 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 03 Jan 2019
- Yemeni retaliatory attacks left 25 Saudi soldiers dead in December: Report Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- A recent report has revealed that Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Committees killed and injured dozens of Saudi soldiers in the kingdom's southwestern border regions in December last year as part of their retaliatory raids against the Riyadh regime's aerial bombardment campaign.
- Syrian President Assad will remain in power 'for a while': British foreign secretary Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will remain in office due to Russia's support, amid a decision by the US to withdraw troops and a race among Arab states to normalize ties with the Syrian government.
- UK Foreign Secretary Hunt Admits Assad to Be in Power 'For a While' Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- The admission is a step back from the usual 'Assad must go' rhetoric which the UK, the US and its allies have repeatedly used in relation to the Syrian president in the course of the war which has rocked the country since 2011.
- 23,000 Takfiri terrorists killed in Russia strikes in Syria last year: Defense ministry Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- Russia's Defense Ministry says tens of thousands of foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists were killed during its military's counter-terrorism airstrikes against militant redoubts in Syria last year.
- At Least 11 Civilians Killed as US-Led Coalition Pounds Deir ez-Zor, Syria Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- The US-led coalition regularly carries out airstrikes in the eastern Deir ez-Zor province and has recently been concentrating its air power on Hajin and Sha'afa.
- Iraq Backs Syria's Return to Arab League – Foreign Minister Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- Iraqi top diplomat Mohamed Alhakim has confirmed the country's support for Syria's return to the Arab League, in a statement quoted by the Foreign Ministry.
- Syrian Army thwarts terrorists' infiltration attempts in Hama IRNA 03 Jan 2019 -- Syrian Arab Army units broadened the scale of military operations against terrorist groups and thwarted their attempts of infiltration in the northern countryside of Hama.
- Turkey-US Tensions Threaten to Resurface Over Syria VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey are threatening to resurface following President Donald Trump's apparent walking back of his commitment to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and end support for a Syrian Kurdish militia.
- Ukrainian Navy to Engage Intl Observers for Next Kerch Strait Passage - Official Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- The Ukrainian Navy will take international observers onboard during passage through the Kerch Strait, Yury Biryukov, an adviser to the Ukrainian president and the Ukrainian defense minister, said on Wednesday.
- Two killed as security forces storm militant hideout in central Tunisia Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- At least two militants have blown themselves up during a raid by Tunisian security forces on a hideout in the central region of Sidi Bouzid, Interior Ministry says.
- Lebanese security forces bust Daesh terrorist network during New Year holidays Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- Lebanese security forces have arrested a group of people affiliated with the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in neighboring Syria, who planned to carry out a series of deadly attacks in Lebanon.
- India Deports 2nd Group of Rohingya Muslims VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- India deported a second small group of Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar Thursday as part of what it said was an ongoing crackdown on illegal immigrants.
- Pakistan Army Claims to Have Shot Down Second Indian Spy Drone in Two Days Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- The first such incident took place on Tuesday; the event was dismissed by the Indian Army as "plain propaganda".
- Niger's army 'kills nearly 290 Boko Haram terrorists' Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- Niger's army says it has killed nearly 290 militants from the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group during an offensive near the country's southeast border with neighboring Nigeria.
- Deadly Mali attack to be investigated by UN rights experts UN News 03 Jan 2019 -- An attack on a village in central Mali earlier this week in which at least 37 civilians died, is to be investigated with the help of United Nations human rights experts, the UN stabilization mission in the country (MINUSMA), announced on Thursday.
- Somali Diplomat to UN: Don't Interfere in Our Internal Affairs VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- Somalia's U.N. envoy Thursday urged the United Nations not to interfere in his country's internal affairs, two days after the federal government expelled the U.N.'s top official there.
- 'Milestones are clear' for 'significant progress' in Somalia during 2019, Security Council hears UN News 03 Jan 2019 -- Somali Government efforts to build a lasting peace through political reform and transformation have progressed along a "positive trajectory" but everyone involved in the process needs to "pull in the same direction", the UN Special Representative in the country told the Security Council on Thursday.
- Cameroon's English-Speaking Areas Becoming Deserted VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- Towns and villages in Cameroon's restive Anglophone regions are being deserted as battles rage between separatists and the country's military. The fighting intensified after President Paul Biya's New Year's message in which he insisted that his military would neutralize separatists who refuse to lay down their arms.
- Remarks by President Trump on Border Security The White House 03 Jan 2019
- US demands Russia explain detention of ex-Marine on spying charges Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington wants an explanation for why Russia detained a former American Marine on spying charges in Moscow and will demand his immediate return if it determines his detention is inappropriate.
- Russia Charges Former U.S. Marine With Espionage; Lawyer Applies For Bail RFE/RL 03 Jan 2019 -- Russia has charged a retired U.S. Marine arrested in Moscow with espionage, the Interfax news agency reported, meaning he could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
- Russia Reportedly Charged Former US Marine with Espionage VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- Russia has charged former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan with espionage, according to an Interfax news agency report that has not been independently verified.
- DPRK leader's letter to Trump to play positive role: S.Korea's Blue House People's Daily 03 Jan 2019 -- The letter by Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), to U.S. President Donald Trump will play a positive role in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and building lasting peace, South Korea's presidential Blue House said Thursday.
- Some S. Koreans Eager to Welcome Kim Jong Un to Seoul VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un highlighted peace and prosperity in his annual New Year's address, and while he did not make the much-anticipated trip to Seoul in 2018, some local residents are hopeful the visit could still come soon and promote greater ties between the two nations.
- U.S. Warns Iran on Space Launches SPA 03 Jan 2019 -- The United States of America issued today a pre-emptive warning to Iran against pursuing three planned space rocket launches that it said would violate a U.N. Security Council resolution because they use ballistic missile technology.
- Iraq seeking ways to bypass unilateral US sanctions on Iran Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- The Iraqi foreign minister says his country is "not obliged" to abide by unilateral US sanctions against Iran, stressing that Baghdad is considering options to bypass those bans and maintain trade ties with its neighbor.
- We are breaking new ground in major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics: Chinese Foreign Minister People's Daily 03 Jan 2019
- China's floating population starts to shrink People's Daily 03 Jan 2019 -- While the total number of births in China may have exceeded 15 million in 2018, this figure shows a downward trend from the 17.2 million babies born in 2017. This decline, alongside more migrant workers moving home than ever, means China's floating population is in sharp decline, said an industry insider, China Business Network reported on Jan. 3.
- Chang'e 4 makes world-first landing on moon's far side People's Daily 03 Jan 2019 -- Humankind's lunar exploration history saw the opening of a new chapter on Thursday morning as the world's first explorer of the moon's far side landed at its destination after a 26-day space journey.
- China probe makes historic soft landing on far side of Moon: State media Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- In a significant milestone in space exploration, China has managed to land a robotic probe on the far side of the Moon, the first man-made craft ever to successfully touch the side of the Earth's sole natural satellite that perpetually faces away from it, state media say.
- China's Spacecraft Makes the First-Ever Landing on Moon's Dark Side - Reports Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- The lunar explorer Chang'e-4 touched down at 10:26 a.m.(02:26 GMT), China Central Television said Thursday.
- India's Second Moon Mission Postponed Again - Reports Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- India's first moon mission, named Chandrayaan-1, took place back in 2008. The Chandrayaan-2 mission was scheduled to be launched on Thursday but has reportedly been postponed.
- Most people in Taiwan do not accept '1992 consensus': poll CNA 03 Jan 2019 -- More than 80 percent of the people in Taiwan do not accept Beijing's definition of the "1992 consensus" and think that it is aimed at undermining the Republic of China's (Taiwan) sovereignty and squeezing its international space, according to a survey released Thursday.
- MAC denies existence of '92 consensus,' says it castrates Taiwan CNA 03 Jan 2019 -- There has never been a "1992 consensus" between Taiwan and China, and Taiwan must not acknowledge it, to prevent from being castrated by China, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said on Thursday.
- French MP denounces China's threat of force against Taiwan CNA 03 Jan 2019 -- French parliamentarian Jean-François Cesarini said Wednesday that China's desire to go to war with Taiwan is unacceptable, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping's (習近平) warning the previous day that China reserves the right to use force against Taiwan.
- Pakistan Welcomes Trump's Remarks on Resuming Political Contacts VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- Pakistan has responded positively to remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump that he intends to resume the leadership-level contacts between the two countries, partners in the war against terrorism.
- Riyadh says seeking death penalty for Khashoggi murder suspects Press TV 03 Jan 2019 -- Saudi Arabia says it has held an initial hearing into the murder case of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with the public prosecutor requesting the death penalty for five of the suspects.
- Saudi Prosecutor Requests Death Sentence For 5 Accused of Killing Khashoggi Sputnik 03 Jan 2019 -- Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident and columnist for The Washington Post, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. On 19 October, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi had been killed in a brawl inside the consulate.
- Saudi Arabia Holds 1st Hearing for Khashoggi Killing Defendants VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- Saudi Arabia says it held an initial court appearance Thursday for 11 people charged in connection with the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- Uganda's Ebola preparedness 'will go a long way' says WHO chief UN News 03 Jan 2019 -- In the wake of an ongoing Ebola outbreak affecting the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), neighboring Uganda is implementing a series of preventative response measures to keep the deadly disease at bay.
- United States Calls Upon the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Electoral Commission To Release Accurate Results US Dept. of State 03 Jan 2019 -- The United States stands by the millions of Congolese voters who went to the polls across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on December 30 to participate in presidential, legislative, and provincial assembly elections.
- Congo Election Results May Be Delayed VOA 03 Jan 2019 -- The United States is demanding the Democratic Republic of Congo release "accurate" election results and warned sanctions against anyone who tries to undermine Congo's democracy.
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