25 January 2019 Military News
- US Troop Numbers to Fluctuate During Syria Withdrawal - Pentagon Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- US troop numbers in Syria "will fluctuate" during the withdrawal process, Pentagon spokesperson Sean Robertson told Sputnik when asked to comment on reports that Washington has sent additional troops to the country.
- Ghani Concerned About Exclusion From US-Taliban Talks VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- As U.S.-Taliban peace talks take place in Qatar, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said any eventual truce between the insurgents and Afghanistan must respect his country's constitution and legal framework.
- Who Is Taliban's New Chief Negotiator? VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- As peace talks between the United States and Afghan Taliban enter a crucial stage, the Taliban leadership has announced a new chief negotiator, a man named Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
- AFRICOM to Resume Announcing Somalia Airstrike Death Tolls VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- U.S. Africa Command, which oversees U.S. military operations on the continent, will again release the number of enemy fighters killed and damage information caused from its airstrikes, after briefly saying it would no longer do so.
- US Air War in Somalia Goes Dark Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump subtly announced that the Pentagon's many overseas operations would become even more secretive during the first Cabinet hearing of 2019.
Defense Policy / Programs
- McConnell AFB welcomes first KC-46A Pegasus US Air Force 25 Jan 2019 -- Total Force crews delivered the first two KC-46A Pegasus aircraft to McConnell Air Force Base.
- USS Donald Cook Departs Batumi, Georgia NNS 25 Jan 2019 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) departed Batumi, Georgia, Jan. 25 following a scheduled port visit.
- USS McFaul Deploys NNS 25 Jan 2019 -- The guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) departed Naval Station Norfolk, Jan. 25, on a regularly-scheduled deployment to conduct maritime security operations.
- Mine Countermeasures Mission Package Completes Integration Testing of Unmanned Vehicles NNS 25 Jan 2019 -- The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mission Module Program successfully completed shipboard integration testing of two unmanned systems aboard USS Independence (LCS 2), Jan. 14.
- USS John C. Stennis Transfers Supplies from Sri Lanka NNS 25 Jan 2019 -- Aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) received supplies as part of a temporary cargo transfer initiative in Sri Lanka, beginning Jan. 24.
- US Army Hints at 1,000-Mile Range Supergun That Could Be Used in South China Sea Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Preparing for the ultimate standoff against foreign adversaries, the US Army is working on a 1,000-mile range supergun that could potentially destroy Chinese naval ships, should a showdown take place in the hotly contested waters of the South China Sea.
- US Troops Are Training to Operate Soviet D-30 Howitzers Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- US troops, reportedly tasked to advise and equip armies in smaller developing countries, are learning how to operate an older, Soviet-era artillery piece – D-30 howitzer.
- Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council NATO 25 Jan 2019
- Joint press point with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern NATO 25 Jan 2019
- Russia: US igniting arms race in outer space by weaponizing it Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- Russia has warned that the United States' new space missile program would weaponize outer space and ignite an arms race there.
- Moscow Once Again Urges US to Abandon Plans to Resurrect 'Star Wars' Programme Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Earlier on Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has held a press conference after the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council. The meeting focused on the fate of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) in light of Washington's decision to withdraw from the agreement.
- Missile Pact In Danger, NATO Chief Says After Russia Talks RFE/RL 25 Jan 2019 -- A meeting between NATO and Russian envoys has failed to resolve a dispute over a new Russian cruise missile that the alliance says is a threat to Europe, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on January 25.
- Russia to Express Concern Over US Arms Violating INF Treaty During Friday Talks Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Russia will express its concern over the US weapons violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) during the Friday meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters.
- Taiwan president urges faster mass production of missiles CNA 25 Jan 2019 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has called on a key defense technology institute to lay a solid foundation for Taiwan's defense industry in the coming 50 years and expedite mass production of two models of sophisticated missiles.
- Situation in Taiwan Strait under full control: MND CNA 25 Jan 2019 -- Amid increased muscle-flexing by parties concerned in waters near Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Friday that it is in full control of the situation in the Taiwan Strait.
- US angers China by sailing warships through Taiwan Strait Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- The US Navy has dispatched two warships through the Taiwan Strait in the third such operation in the past four months amid tensions with China, which regards Taiwan as a breakaway republic.
- Saudi Arabia building its first ballistic missile factory: Report Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- Saudi Arabia, already known as the world's top importer of foreign-made ballistic missiles, has started building its first missile production factory near the central town of Al-Watah, The Washington Post has quoted experts as saying.
- Warning to Iran? US Media Claims Riyadh Building Missile Factory at Remote Base Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- The Al-Watah missile base was first discovered by private intelligence firm Jane's in 2013, with further media reports citing satellite photos indicating that the missiles at the base were targeting Israel and Iran.
- Berlin set to sell weapons to Doha amid tension with Riyadh Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- Germany has approved exporting military equipment to Qatar amid deepening tensions with Riyadh, Doha's rival.
- Indian Army Launches Global Hunt for 360,000 Carbines in $750Mln Potential Deal Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- The tender, which is expected to be issued later this year, will seek a transfer of technology for the carbines to be produced under licence in India under a partnership deal with domestic defence companies.
- Iran's Army launches drill to practice 'offensive' tactics Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- The Iranian Army's ground forces have begun a massive military maneuver in the central province of Isfahan.
- Remarks by President Trump on the Government Shutdown The White House 25 Jan 2019
- Details on the "Ministerial To Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East" US Dept. of State 25 Jan 2019
- Contracts for January 11, 2019
- Boeing Delivers First Two KC-46A Pegasus Tankers to U.S. Air Force Boeing 25 Jan 2019 -- The first two Boeing [NYSE: BA] KC-46 Pegasus aircraft departed Everett's Paine Field this morning for McConnell Air Force Base, where the 22nd Air Refueling Wing will be the first unit to have the world's newest air refueling tankers.
- 25 January 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 25 Jan 2019
- Climate change recognized as 'threat multiplier', UN Security Council debates its impact on peace UN News 25 Jan 2019 -- As climate change is increasingly recognized as a "threat multiplier" by scientists, political representatives, and civil society across the world, the United Nations Security Council held an open debate on Friday to discuss its concrete impact on peace and security, and focus on tangible ways to diminish the effects of global warming.
- Damascus 'welcomes' Kurdish negotiation appeal, talks to start 'in days' Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- The head of a Syrian Kurdish group says talks with Damascus will begin "in days" following the government's "positive" reaction to a negotiation appeal.
- Arab Tribes in North Syria Speak Out Against Turkish Security Zone Plan Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Over 10,000 representatives of the Arab tribes living in the northern and northeastern regions of Syria spoke out against the presence of US troops, a possible Turkish military operation and the creation of a security zone on the border territory between Syria and Turkey, SANA news agency reported on Friday.
- US Reportedly Sends Scores of Trucks With Arms to Syria Amid Troop Exit Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- The report comes amid the beginning of US troops' withdrawal from Syria, which was announced by President Donald Trump in December 2018, when he also declared victory over the terrorist group Daesh*.
- US-Led Coalition Probing Possible Civilian Casualties in Syria Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- The US-led coalition is investigating whether an attack out on January 22 caused the deaths of civilians in Syria, Operation Inherent Resolve-Joint Task Force said in a statement on Friday.
- Video shows US deploying 250 trucks of arms in Syria despite pullout claim Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- The US has reportedly deployed at least 250 trucks filled with weapons to its bases in Syria despite President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw all American forces from the Arab country.
- Experts Fear Terror Group Is Consolidating Power in Northern Syria VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- As Turkey and Russia are discussing ways to stabilize war-torn Syria, a U.S.-designated terror group in northern Idlib province has been consolidating power, with some experts warning the group, if left unchecked, might grow stronger and complicate an already difficult situation.
- Syrian S-300 Systems Were 'Inactive' During Israeli Missile Attack – Iranian MP Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Israel recently carried out a spate of missile strikes on alleged Iranian targets in Syria. The Syrian air defences reportedly destroyed over 30 Israeli cruise missiles and guided bombs during the attack, which lasted two days.
- Turkey expects creation of Syria security zone in few months, Erdogan says Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the Ankara government expects a "security zone" to be created in neighboring Syria within a few months as the United States withdraws its troops from the war-torn Arab country.
- Turkey Expects US to Cut Cooperation With YPG in Syria - Defence Minister Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Turkey expects the United States to cut cooperation with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and remove the militia from Manbij, the Turkish Defence Ministry said in a statement citing Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.
- UN envoy says Myanmar army chief must be tried for genocide Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- The United Nations (UN)'s envoy for Myanmar says the country's army chief should be prosecuted for committing genocide against minority Rohingya Muslims, many of whom have now fled but face repatriation to the Buddhist-majority state.
- Myanmar Army Chief Must be Prosecuted for Rohingya "Genocide": U.N. Rights Envoy Says SPA 25 Jan 2019 -- Myanmar's army chief should be prosecuted for genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, a U.N. human rights investigator said, adding that holding perpetrators to account for crimes was necessary before refugees who fled the country could return.
- Myanmar Government side-lining democratic reform, resorting to military era repression: UN expert UN News 25 Jan 2019 -- The human rights situation in Myanmar continues to deteriorate, as the civilian government fails to bring about democratic reforms and instead resorts to the kind of repression carried out under previous military regimes, said the UN human rights expert Yanghee Lee, speaking at the end of an 11-day mission to neighbouring Thailand and Bangladesh.
- Israel sends 'strongly-worded' messages to Lebanon over Hezbollah missiles Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- Israel has reportedly sent strongly-worded messages to Lebanon, delivered through France, warning the Arab country of the consequences of the precision missiles possessed by the Hezbollah resistance movement.
- Two peacekeepers killed in an attack against UN convoy in Mali UN News 25 Jan 2019 -- Two peacekeepers from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) were killed on Friday following an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack against a convoy near Douentza, in the Mopti region, central Mali.
- US, Britain Warn Against Election Trouble in Nigeria VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- The United States and British governments say they will deny visas and impose other penalties on anyone who attempts to encourage or use violence to influence Nigeria's elections.
- Statement by a Treasury Spokesperson on Venezuela US Treasury 25 Jan 2019
- US Appoints New Venezuela Envoy to Help 'Restore Democracy' VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has appointed foreign policy veteran Elliott Abrams to be U.S. envoy to Venezuela, tasked with helping "restore democracy" to the South American nation.
- Turkey's Erdogan Stands Firm With Venezuela's Maduro VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is telling his embattled Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, to "stand tall" in the face of national and international calls to step down amid a political crisis.
- Venezuela: At least 20 dead, situation could 'rapidly spiral out of control' warns UN rights chief UN News 25 Jan 2019 -- UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned on Friday that the situation in Venezuela could "rapidly spiral out of control", amid ongoing deadly violence and uncertainty linked to Wednesday's declaration by Juan Guaidó that he had become the country's interim president.
- Russia offers to mediate between Venezuela government, opposition Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- Russia has offered to mediate between the Venezuelan government and opposition, amid a political crisis that has plagued the Latin American country.
- Iran supports Venezuela in face of US plots: FM Zarif Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic supports the legal government in Venezuela and the country's people in the face of all plots, particularly those hatched by the United States.
- Venezuela Pres. Maduro announces closure of embassy, consulates in US Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the closure of Venezuela's embassy and consulates in the US after Washington threw its weight behind opposition leader Juan Guaido who declared himself interim president.
- Reuters Reports Russian Military Contractors Operating In Venezuela RFE/RL 25 Jan 2019 -- Reuters is reporting that private military contractors working on behalf of Russia are in Venezuela to help embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro strengthen security amid opposition protests and a competing claim to leadership.
- US Policy Toward Venezuela is 'Destructive' - Lavrov Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Earlier, Washington recognised Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president while calling Nicolas Maduro's presidency "illegitimate" and warning Caracas against the use of force against protesters.
- US Diplomats Must Obey Order to Leave Venezuela - Nicolas Maduro Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro addressed journalists in a press conference at the presidential palace in Caracas amid the ongoing political crisis in the country.
- Spain, Germany to Recognize Guaido if Maduro Fails to Set Early Election Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Spain will recognize Venezuelan Parliament Speaker Juan Guaido as interim president of the country if incumbent President Nicolas Maduro does not call for early elections in the country, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Friday. A similar stance has been voiced by Berlin.
- 'Let the Public Decide': India Echoes Russian, Chinese Sentiment on Venezuela Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- In its first response to the ongoing political developments in Venezuela, India's Ministry of External Affairs on Friday extended its support to President Nicolas Maduro by indicating that it does not support interference in the nation's domestic affairs.
- Venezuelan Opposition Leader Guaido Says May Grant Pardon to President Maduro Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself the country's interim president, has not ruled out he may grant pardon to incumbent leader Nicolas Maduro.
- Russia Warns Military Scenario in Venezuela Would Be Catastrophic Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Friday that a military scenario in Venezuela, which is experiencing a deep political crisis, may be catastrophic.
- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Says Rules Out Start of War in Latin America Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told Sputnik in an interview that from his point of view the start of war between Latin American nations was impossible.
- Roger Stone, Former Trump Campaign Adviser, Arrested VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- Roger Stone, a former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, was released on a $250,000 bond Friday, hours after being arrested on several criminal charges stemming from the special counsel's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. national election.
- Trump Associate Roger Stone Arrested, Charged On Seven Counts RFE/RL 25 Jan 2019 -- Roger Stone, a longtime ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, has been arrested by the FBI and charged with seven criminal counts connected to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
- Trump's election adviser Roger Stone arrested by FBI over Russia probe Press TV 25 Jan 2019 -- US President Donald Trump's longtime ally and presidential campaign adviser, Roger Stone, has been arrested over charges that he obstructed US Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion between the Trump election campaign and Russia before the 2016 US presidential election.
- Ex-Trump Adviser Stone Arrested in Mueller Probe - Special Counsel's Office Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- The arrest follows a decision by the House Intelligence Committee last month to hand over transcripts of Stone's congressional testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller.
- Greece Ratifies Prespa Agreement US Dept. of State 25 Jan 2019
- Greek Parliament Approves Macedonia Name Change RFE/RL 25 Jan 2019 -- The Greek parliament has narrowly approved a historic agreement to normalize relations with neighboring Macedonia, in a move welcomed by the European Union.
- Greek Parliament Ratifies Macedonia Name Change Deal Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Greece and Macedonia, officially known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), have been engaged in a name dispute for many years. Athens opposes the use of "Macedonia," which is also the name of a region in Greece.
- UN chief 'commends' leadership of Greece and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as name dispute draws to final close UN News 25 Jan 2019 -- The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated the Greek Parliament over its ratification of a name change for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Friday, and commended the leaders of both countries for signalling the end to a naming dispute that has roiled the region for some 28 years.
- Activist Group Publishes 'Hacked E-Mails' From Russia RFE/RL 25 Jan 2019 -- A self-described "transparency collective" has released a massive trove of hacked e-mails and leaked documents from what it describes as "Russian politicians, journalists, oligarchs, [and] religious, and social figures."
- Russian Lawmakers Pass Bills On 'Fake News,' Offending Authorities In First Reading RFE/RL 25 Jan 2019 -- Russian lawmakers have given tentative approval to bills prohibiting the spread of fake news online and punishing those who insult authorities with jail terms of up to 15 days, in measures the opposition says are aimed at curbing dissent.
- Russia Withdraws Appeal Against Doping Ban RFE/RL 25 Jan 2019 -- Russia's athletics federation has said it will withdraw its appeal against its ban from international competition.
- Kushner Trumped Top Secret Clearance Process After Two Rejections – Report Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- Earlier this week, the US House Oversight Committee launched a probe into the White House security clearance process, in a bid to shed more light on how Jared Kushner managed to gain access to highly classified information.
- Three Southwest Kansas Men Sentenced to Prison for Plotting to Bomb Somali Immigrants in Garden City US Dept. of Justice 25 Jan 2019 -- Three men from southwest Kansas were sentenced to 25, 26 and 30 years imprisonment on charges of conspiring to detonate a bomb at an apartment complex in Garden Citywhere Muslim immigrants lived, announced Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker; United States Attorney for the District of Kansas Stephen McAllister; FBI Director Chris Wray; Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband; Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John C. Demers; and FBI Kansas City Division Special Agent in Charge Darrin E. Jones.
- Texas Man Arrested for Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization US Dept. of Justice 25 Jan 2019 -- A former Sugar Land, Texas, resident has been arrested and detained for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick and Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI's Houston Field Office.
- SpaceX Says Successfully Test-Fired Falcon 9 Rocket for Dragon 2 Spacecraft Sputnik 25 Jan 2019 -- US aerospace manufacturer SpaceX said on Friday it had carried out a static fire test of the company's Falcon 9 rocket, which in February will conduct an unmanned launch of a Dragon 2 spacecraft.
- French gov't to present hard Brexit plan People's Daily 24 Jan 2019 -- The French government intends to present, in early February, details of a package of emergency measures meant to protect the interests of citizens and companies in case of a hard Brexit, said European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau on Wednesday.
- Desperately Seeking A Postwar President In Ukraine RFE/RL 25 Jan 2019 -- Ukrainians say the biggest problem facing their country ahead of a crucial presidential election in March is the same one that ushered in the current head of state in the first place: war.
- Alarm over violent attacks on lawmakers, opposition in Malawi, ahead of elections UN News 25 Jan 2019 -- In Malawi, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, voiced alarm on Friday over increasing, horrific violence there, linked to upcoming elections.
- Five Years After Coup, Thai Election Date Set for Late March VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- Nearly five years after the military stormed to power in yet another coup, Thailand has finally announced an official election date scheduled for late March.
- Zimbabwe Now 'War Zone' Says Citizen Allegedly Assaulted by Security Forces VOA 25 Jan 2019 -- Some citizens in Zimbabwe say the country resembles a war zone. They want President Emmerson Mnangagwa to rein in military forces, which reportedly continue assaulting Zimbabweans a week after the country's protests over a fuel price hike.
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