18 January 2019 Military News
- US Syria Withdrawal Risks Vital Strategic Interests VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- The U.S. withdrawal from Syria may bring to a close an open-ended and strategically unclear military commitment and likely put at risk vital national security interests, according to some analysts.
- U.S. Peace Envoy In Pakistan After Talks In Kabul RFE/RL 18 Jan 2019 -- U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has held talks with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and other officials amid renewed efforts aimed at finding a negotiated solution to the 17-year war in Afghanistan.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Moscow: New US missile strategy will spark space arms race Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- Moscow says America's newly unveiled space-based military strategy will unleash a dangerous arms race, urging Washington to settle arms treaty disputes "before it's too late."
- U.S. Missile Strategy to Unleash Space Arms' Race, Relaunch Cold War Era -Russia Says SPA 18 Jan 2019 -- Russia said on Friday Washington's new missile defense strategy would lead to a dangerous arms race in space and amounts to a relaunch of the Cold War-era "Star Wars" program.
- More Bang, More Buck: US Considers Adding ICBM Interceptors to F-35 Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- In all likelihood, adding more bells and whistles to the F-35 can only make its $1.5 trillion program price more expensive, while experts have questioned if the plan is even realistic.
- Moscow Calls New Pentagon Report 'Relaunch of Reagan-Era Star Wars Programme' Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- The Russia Foreign Ministry has reacted to the new US Missile Defence Strategy, presented by Trump on Thursday. The policy, as the US president described it, "recognises that space is a new war-fighting domain with the Space Force leading the way".
- US Missile Defence Strategy May Trigger Arms Race, Undermine Stability - Beijing Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- Earlier, President Donald Trump unveiled Washington's new missile defence strategy, boasting that it would allow the US to destroy enemy ballistic, cruise and hypersonic missiles launched from anywhere in the world, "whether before or after launch."
- From Alaska to Outer Space: Key Takeaways of New US Missile Defence Review Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has unveiled the country's new missile defence strategy, aimed at destroying enemy missiles "anywhere, anytime, anyplace". Here are the highlights of the review, which has been the first to be presented since 2010.
- US missile defense plan reveals illusion disguised as safety net People's Daily 18 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump laid out his administration's Missile Defense Review during a speech at the Pentagon on Thursday local time, declaring the US will develop a more advanced defense system to counter hypersonic and cruise missile threats from competitors and adversaries.
- North Korean, Iranian Missiles Remain a Significant Concern for US - Pentagon Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- The missile capabilities of US adversaries such as North Korea and Iran continue to play a significant role in America's defense strategy, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Thursday during the rollout of the 2019 Missile Defense Review.
- US House Armed Services Committee Objects to Investment in Space Interceptors Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- US House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith in a statement on Thursday objected to plans in the new Missile Defense Review (MDR) to invest in cost-prohibitive space-based interceptors and warned that the new strategy may drive Russia and China to boost their nuclear arsenal.
- US missile defense plan reveals illusion disguised as safety net Global Times 18 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump laid out his administration's Missile Defense Review during a speech at the Pentagon on Thursday local time, declaring the US will develop a more advanced defense system to counter hypersonic and cruise missile threats from competitors and adversaries.
- In the heart of the jungle, Army helps thwart illegal trafficking networks Army News 18 Jan 2019 -- Deep in the jungles of Panama, National Border Service agents, also known as SENAFRONT, await in a clearing, anticipating construction supplies that will help them, as they prepare to take down illicit drug and human trafficking networks that span the Americas.
- Dunford: Allies, Partners to Gain Importance in Future DoD News 18 Jan 2019 -- Allies and partners will become more crucial to peace and security in the years ahead, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today during a ceremony in which he received the Order of Orange-Nassau.
- USNS Brunswick Arrives in Bitung NNS 18 Jan 2019 -- The Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) arrived in Bitung, Indonesia, Jan. 14 for a scheduled port visit.
- US May Send Warship Through Taiwan Strait Amid China Tensions - Navy Chief Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- In late October 2018, the Pentagon sent two US Navy vessels through the Taiwan Strait, in the second such operation that year. Beijing voiced serious concern about the move, while Taiwanese officials claimed that the island's defence ministry was in full control of the situation and "has the ability to maintain the security of the seas".
- NATO Secretary General thanks EUROCONTROL for continued cooperation NATO 18 Jan 2019 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) on Friday (18 January 2019) to meet Director General Eamonn Brennan and reaffirm the close collaboration between the two organisations.
- Two Su-34 jets collide in Russia's Far East People's Daily 18 Jan 2019 -- Two Su-34 jets accidentally collided in Russia's Far East region while performing training flights on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed in a statement.
- Su-34 Jets Accidentally Collide In Far East, Both Crews Eject - Defence Ministry Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- Two Su-34 bombers collided in the Far East but their crews managed to eject safely; both planes were flying without ammunition, the Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Russian Defence Ministry said.
- German Foreign Minister Urges Russia To Save INF Treaty RFE/RL 18 Jan 2019 -- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has urged Russia to help prevent a new arms race by saving a key arms treaty with the United States.
- Russia Accuses US of Creating Medium and Short-Range Missiles, INF Fate in Limbo Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Heiko Maas discussed the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the situation in Syria and the Nord Stream 2 project at a joint press conference in Moscow.
- Trump's new missile policy deems North Korea 'a threat' Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has unveiled a revamped missile policy that deems North Korea an "extraordinary threat," months after a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un aimed at finding a diplomatic solution to tensions between the two countries.
- US Puts Intl Security at Risk Claiming Russia Provided Missile Tech to N Korea Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- The US Defense Department has unveiled a new plan to strengthen and expand the US missile defense capabilities on land, sea and in space amid fears of sparking a nuclear crisis with Russia and China.
- Rafale Deal Becoming Modi's Nemesis as Opposition Steps Up Probe Demand Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- The deal between India and France to purchase Rafale fighter jets is proving to be the proverbial albatross around Prime Minister Modi's neck as new facts emerge, putting him under further scrutiny.
- Singapore Plans to Replace F-16 Fighter Fleet With F-35 Jets - Defence Minister Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said Friday that the country's air force planned to replace the F-16 fighter jets it currently has in service with F-35 aircraft.
- Norway Beefs Up Arctic Defences at Russia's Doorstep Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- Having partially dismantled its northern defences in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Norway now seeks to re-establish its presence in the strategic area amid rising tensions between NATO and Russia.
- UN rights expert calls for civilian protection as fighting escalates between military and armed group UN News 18 Jan 2019 -- Calling on the Myanmar Government to "immediately reverse its decision not to allow access to all humanitarian organizations", the United Nations expert on human rights in the South-East Asian country said on Friday, that "it's vital that assistance is able to reach those who have fled violence in the region".
- Vietnam Gains Bargaining Power Over China in Conduct at Sea Talks VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- Vietnam's tough stance against China over sovereignty of the South China Sea will put Beijing on the defensive during regional talks on easing the regional maritime dispute, people who follow the process say.
- UN monitors biased toward Saudi Arabia: Yemen's Houthis Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- Yemeni officials have voiced concern over a UN mission's ignorance of Saudi violations of the Hudaydah truce deal.
- Macron says France seeks to remain in Syria, 'militarily engaged' in Mideast Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- President Emmanuel Macron says France will keep its forces in Syria and remain "militarily engaged" in the Middle East despite US plans to withdraw from the Arab country.
- Israel Reveals More about Its Military Engagement with Iran in Syria VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- Israel has been conducting military operations against Iran on Syrian soil for more than two years.
- IS Vows More Attacks on Manbij VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- The Islamic State terror group is promising to keep targeting U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in the northern Syrian town of Manbij, where a suicide attack this week killed four Americans and five coalition soldiers.
- Syrian civilians martyred in US-led coalition airstrikes IRNA 18 Jan 2019 -- Twenty civilians, including women and children, have been killed in new airstrikes carried out by the US-led international coalition in al-Baghouz Foqani village, in Deir Ezzor south-eastern countryside.
- 20 Syrian civilians killed as new US-led airstrikes target Dayr al-Zawr Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- Nearly two 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.
- Lebanon FM calls on Arab League to restore Syria's membership Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- Lebanon's Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has called on the Arab League to restore Syria's membership in the regional organization, describing attempts to block the move as a "historic mistake."
- Turkish Troops Open Retaliatory Fire on Kurds in Tall Rifat – Defence Ministry Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- The Turkish troops, deployed in Syria's Afrin, opened fire on Friday at the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in response to the latter's fire from the city of Tall Rifat, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement.
- Turkey Opposes Damascus' Control Over Syrian Manbij Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- Ankara opposes the presence of Syrian government troops in Manbij and considers clearing the region of the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) a matter of national security, the Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesman Hami Aksoy said Friday.
- Turkey Warns Syrian Army Against Entering Manbij Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- The statement came a few days after at least four US servicemen were killed in a suicide bombing in the northern Syrian city of Manbij. Daesh* (ISIS) reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred amid the ongoing US troop withdrawal from Syria, announced by President Trump in December 2018.
- Libyan authorities must shoulder the burden to support country's 'vulnerable' south UN News 18 Jan 2019 -- Despite years of promises to address the "vulnerable heart" of Libya – the country's south – conditions around its water and oil resource wealth have continued to deteriorate at "an alarming rate", the United Nations envoy for the country told the Security Council.
- Explainer: New Hague Tribunal Looks To Avoid Mistakes Of Past Kosovar Prosecutions RFE/RL 18 Jan 2019 -- Tasked with confronting one of the most painful periods of Kosovo's troubled history, the Specialist Chambers were heralded by the West as a vital step forward, even if it comes almost two decades after the end of the armed conflict between Kosovar Albanians and Serbian forces.
- Colombian Defence Min.: ELN Rebels Behind Car Bomb on Police School in Bogota Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- Colombian authorities have established that 56-year-old José Aldemar Rojas was driving the car that exploded at a police academy in Bogota. He died, while the motives of his actions are not yet known.
- Thousands returning to Nigeria's restive Borno state 'at risk'; UN 'gravely concerned' UN News 18 Jan 2019 -- Amid reports that Cameroon is forcing several thousand Nigerians to return to Borno state in the country's crisis-gripped north-east, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) deplored the move, saying it has put lives "at risk".
- White House Denies Report Trump Told Cohen to Lie to Congress Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- The White House has fired back at a Thursday BuzzFeed News report claiming that US President Donald Trump directed his attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the status of the proposed Trump Tower Moscow project from before the 2016 US election, calling the claim "categorically false."
- Democrats to Probe Report That Trump Told Cohen to Lie to Congress VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- Democratic lawmakers say they will investigate whether U.S. President Donald Trump directed his attorney to lie to Congress about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, following allegations in a news report.
- Belarus Looking Into Russian Detention Of Former Model Who Claimed Kremlin Election Meddling RFE/RL 18 Jan 2019 -- The Belarusian Embassy in Moscow says it is looking into the case of a Belarusian model who was detained by Russian authorities after landing in Moscow following her deportation from Thailand.
- Huawei founder denies accusation of stealing trade secrets Global Times 18 Jan 2019-- Ren Zhengfei, founder of China's Huawei Technologies, who usually keeps a low profile, appeared before journalists Thursday and stressed that his company does not steal trade secrets. But this has not deterred aggressively hostile attitude from the West.
- Secretary Pompeo's Meeting With DPRK Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol US Dept. of State 18 Jan 2019
- Second Trump-Kim Summit Planned for Late February VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- The White House has announced that a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be held at the end of February, at a place to be announced "at a later date."
- Trump to meet N Korea's Kim in February: White House Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February for the second time after they held their first summit in Singapore last year, says the White House.
- Top North Korean official in US to prepare new Trump-Kim summit Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- A senior official from North Korea is in Washington for a rare visit, during which he is expected to meet US President Donald Trump as the two countries seek to finalize a new summit aimed at denuclearization.
- US-North Korea Summit Scheduled for Late February - White House Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have agreed in principle to meet near the end of February, the White House announced Friday.
- Mogherini, EU ministers to snub US summit against Iran Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will not take part in an anti-Iran conference to be held by the US in the Polish capital of Warsaw in mid-February, Iranian and US media reports say.
- Cruel, Not Unusual: Iran Prosecutor Backs Off Hint Of Fewer 'Divine' Amputations RFE/RL 18 Jan 2019 -- Iran's chief prosecutor has tried to walk back his own suggestion that the country's courts sometimes avoid amputations or controversial punishments when sentencing criminals due to UN human rights criticisms.
- Chinese Firm Offers New Iranian Oilfield Deal Amid US Sanctions – Report Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- The offer is part of an existing contract between state-run Chinese energy giant Sinopec and the National Iranian Oil Company to operate the lucrative Yadavaran oilfield in the Islamic Republic's southwestern area.
- China offers Iran $3bn oilfield deal despite US sanctions: Wall Street Journal Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- State-run Chinese energy giant Sinopec has offered Iran a $3-billion deal on further development of an Iranian oilfield the two countries are already working on, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
- China's police must guard against color revolution: top official warns Press TV 18 Jan 2019 -- A senior Chinese official says Beijing needs to focus on withstanding "color revolutions," as part of a broader strategy by President Xi Jinping, who warned that the country must do more to resist "Western" influence.
- 'One country, two systems' is not viable for Taiwan: MAC CNA 18 Jan 2019 -- China's "One country, two systems" formula has long been a failed policy and is never going to work, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Friday.
- Problem of Kosovo Will Not Be Solved Soon - Serbian President Vucic Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- Earlier on Thursday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Bulgarian Police Make Terrorism Financing Arrests RFE/RL 18 Jan 2019 -- Bulgarian special police forces have dismantled a suspected terrorism financing ring and detained 43 people in coordinated raids across the country.
- Identity of Nairobi Attack Suspect Shocks Neighbors VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- Seven people have been arrested following Tuesday's terror attack at the DusitD2 complex in Nairobi that killed at least 21 people, Kenyan media reported.
- Japan Successfully Launches Epsilon-4 Rocket With 7 Satellites Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Epsilon-4 launch vehicle with seven satellites from its Uchinoura Space Center on Friday, the live broadcast on the agency's website showed.
- Greeks Plan Massive Rally to Protest Deal With Macedonia VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- Demonstrators in Greece are planning a massive rally Sunday to protest a deal that would normalize Greek relations with Macedonia.
- Indian Space Agency to Set Up Ground Stations in Russia, Japan and France Sputnik 18 Jan 2019 -- In 2016, an agreement to enhance bilateral space cooperation was signed between Roscomos, Russia's space agency, and the ISRO; similar agreements were inked with France and Japan as well.
- US Senator Meets Turkish Leader to Defuse Tensions VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with visiting U.S Senator Lindsey Graham in Ankara Friday, in the latest effort to defuse bilateral tensions over Syria.
- Brexit negotiator says EU to change agreement if UK's red lines change: report People's Daily 18 Jan 2019 -- European Union (EU) Chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said here on Thursday that the EU will immediately change the exit agreement if the UK's red lines change, Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported.
- Prospective Ukrainian Presidential Candidate Linked To Russian Film, TV Companies RFE/RL 18 Jan 2019 -- A popular Ukrainian actor and prospective presidential candidate appears to have links with several entertainment businesses in Russia, although he denied having any ongoing interests there.
- UN rights office calls on Zimbabwe Government to end 'crackdown' in response to fuel protests UN News 18 Jan 2019 -- In Zimbabwe, violence and the reported use of live ammunition by State security officials against protesters that has led to "a number of deaths" should be investigated thoroughly and transparently by the Government, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday.
- AU Pushes DRC to Suspend Election Announcement VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- The African Union surprised observers this week by calling for a suspension of the announcement of poll results after a troubled election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The nation hit back at the AU statement, adding another wrinkle to an already complicated situation.
- Zimbabwe, DR Congo Top Human Rights Watchdog Concerns VOA 18 Jan 2019 -- The human rights issues of 2018 have spilled over into current events, particularly in two African nations, rights advocates said as they launched the annual Human Rights Watch Africa roundup Thursday in Johannesburg.
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