07 February 2019 Military News
- US to complete Syria pullout by April: WSJ Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- The United States military is expected to fully withdraw its forces from Syria by the end of April following an order by President Donald Trump, unnamed officials have confirmed to The Wall Street Journal.
- Taliban, Afghan Delegations Hail 'Successful' Moscow Meeting, Pledge To Meet Again RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- Taliban representatives and an Afghan delegation led by former President Hamid Karzai have said that after two days of negotiations in Russia they aim to continue their "intra-Afghan" dialogue in Qatar "as soon as possible."
- Explainer: Why There Are Two Competing Tracks For Afghan Peace RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- As the prospect of a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan is closer than it has ever been, the peace process with the Taliban could be derailed by competing agendas.
- Taliban says no agreement with US on troop withdrawal deadline Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- The Taliban says no timeframe has been agreed for the pullout of American troops from Afghanistan despite Washington's earlier promise to draw down half of its forces from the war-torn country.
- Afghan Leader Roils Pakistan With Pashtun Comments VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's denouncement Thursday of the arrest of a group of ethnic Pashtun activists in neighboring Pakistan has triggered a harsh response from Islamabad, reigniting bilateral political tensions.
- Detention Of Ethnic Pashtun Activists Fuels Pakistan-Afghanistan Tensions RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- The detention of ethnic Pashtun activists in Pakistan this week has reopened long-standing tensions with neighboring Afghanistan, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani expressing "serious concerns" about Islamabad's treatment of the peaceful protesters.
- US Navy to Deploy Ship on Counter-Narcotics Mission in Latin America - S Command Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Commander Craig Faller told Congress on Thursday that SOUTHCOM will deploy a multi-mission support vessel to Latin America this year to support counter-narcotics operations there.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Army National Guard Soldiers learn arctic survival from northern neighbors Army News 07 Feb 2019 -- Lights from headlamps in the distance dart across the blue snow horizon, mirroring the shooting stars above in the brilliant Canadian winter night sky. Through the darkness, Canadian Army Reserve Soldiers lead the way towards camp, breaking trail with their snowshoes through six feet of untouched snow.
- Africom Uses Whole-of-Government to Engage Nations DoD News 07 Feb 2019 -- The commander of U.S. Africa Command told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that his command is engaged throughout the continent to encourage allies and partners and strengthen the rule of law.
- Partnerships in Hemisphere Important, Southcom Commander Says DoD News 07 Feb 2019 -- The commander of U.S. Southern Command provided an assessment of Southcom's concerns and initiatives to lawmakers today during testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2020 and the Future Years Defense Program.
- Forward Deployed: Andersen Airmen project airpower from Diego Garcia US Air Force 07 Feb 2019 -- The diverse mission of the 36th Wing can be boiled down to a single concept: Project airpower across the Indo-Pacific region.
- US Navy Successfully Tests New Ship Self-Defense System for Ford-Class Carriers Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- The US Navy's new Ford-class aircraft carriers just got a little closer to being safer on the high seas, thanks to a successful test Tuesday of the Ship Self Defense System. Fired from a test ship, it intercepted a drone, a task that required the integration of multiple ship systems.
- Pentagon Official: No Plans to Develop New Missiles After End of INF Treaty Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- The head of Pentagon policy John Rood said that because the US has been in full compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty it has no plans to create or deploy an intermediate range missile system.
- Frustrated With Textron RQ-7 Shadow UAVs, US Army Considers Replacements Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- The US Army is looking to find a replacement fleet for its current collection of Textron RQ-7 Shadow tactical unmanned air systems as a result of the UAVs' faulty acoustic signatures.
- Now That NATO Door Is Open, North Macedonia Gets To Show That It Belongs RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- NATO says it is now ready North Macedonia. But is North Macedonia ready for the Western security alliance?
- Another Nuclear Deal With U.S. In Trouble, Russian Minister Says RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- Another U.S.-Russian nuclear treaty could soon expire without renewal following Washington's withdrawal from a Cold War-era arms-control pact, a senior Russian diplomat has said.
- Russia Proposes That US Destroy Tomahawk Missile Launchers Falling Under INF Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- Washington announced its suspension of obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on 1 February, claiming that it would withdraw from the agreement unless Russia "returns to compliance" within 6 months.
- US May Give President Right to Use Nuclear Warheads Against ICBM Silos - Moscow Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- The United States is seeking to give the country's president the option to use low-yield nuclear warheads against intercontinental ballistic missile silos, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Thursday.
- Iran unveils underground ballistic missile plant for 1st time Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- Iran has unveiled an underground plant manufacturing precision ballistic missiles for the Aerospace Division of its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
- Iran Navy to stage large-scale military drills in Indian Ocean Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- The Iranian Navy's deputy commander says the country's naval forces are to hold large-scale drills in the Indian Ocean in two weeks' time.
- S. Korean Military Slammed for Their Arms Buildup KCNA 07 Feb 2019 -- Shortly ago, the south Korean military made public "2019-2023 mid-term defense program" under the pretext of "coping with military threat and security change".
- Canada Deploys Warship to Asia-Pacific, Mideast Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- The Canadian warship Regina departs its home port for a deployment to the Asia-Pacific and Mideast regions along with the Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix, the Defence Ministry announced in a press release on Wednesday.
- Kyrgyz Security Chief Says Bishkek Not Considering Another Russian Military Base RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- Kyrgyzstan's top security official says Bishkek is not looking into the possibility of having a second Russian military base on its territory.
- US General Warns of Russian, Chinese Inroads in Africa VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- Fears that Washington is increasingly losing influence across the globe are starting to come to fruition in Africa, where a top military official says Russia is playing on perceived U.S. weaknesses to gain leverage and resources.
- Venezuelan Army Chopper Crashes Amid Drills Against 'Possible US Aggression' Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- Military servicemen from the Venezuelan armed forces were injured in a helicopter crash in the country's western state of Cojedes, on 4 February, Venezuela al Dia reported.
- US Halting Some Military Assistance to Cameroon Over Rights Concerns VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- The United States has announced it is cutting some security assistance to Cameroon following allegations of human rights violations allegedly committed by the Cameroonian military.
- Department Press Briefing - February 7, 2019 US Dept. of State 07 Feb 2019
- 7 February 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 07 Feb 2019
- Senior US Navy Adviser Suggests Rulebook With China to Avoid Close Calls at Sea Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- The chief of US naval operations said at a meeting of the Atlantic Council think tank earlier this week that the US and China need to draw up rules to govern their naval operations in the South China Sea, and once arrived at, the US should aggressively enforce them.
- Million across Yemen 'just a step away from famine', with food available but inaccessible UN News 07 Feb 2019 -- While nearly 10 million people across Yemen remain "just a step away from famine", the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator has spoken of his deep concern that a large food storage depot on the outskirts of the crucial port city of Hudaydah, has been out of bounds since last September.
- UN: Yemen's Houthi Rebels Must Allow Access to Grain Silos VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- The United Nations' humanitarian chief Thursday called on Yemen's Houthi rebels to give aid workers access to unused grain that could feed nearly 4 million starving people.
- Aid reaches internally displaced Syrians at Rukban camp near Jordan border Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- A convoy of the UN and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) has delivered aid, including medical supplies and basic commodities, to tens of thousands of internally displaced Syrians, who are enduring freezing temperatures and harsh living conditions in a refugee camp near the country's southern border with Jordan.
- Mosul's '3D contamination' adds to challenges of deadly mine clearance work UN News 07 Feb 2019 -- Demining and other explosives clearance operations are ongoing in former ISIL-held areas of Iraq, but the work is painstaking and even more dangerous because of "3D contamination", the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) said on Thursday.
- UN: Clearing Iraq's Mosul From Explosives to Take Decades VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- The U.N. Mine Action Service (UNMAS) estimates it could take 10 years to clear Mosul, Iraq, of landmines and decades longer to free this former Islamic State stronghold of thousands of tons of other explosive hazards.
- Libya's Haftar accused of conducting 'ethnic cleansing' in south Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- Libya's internationally-recognized government has denounced as "ethnic cleansing" a recent military offensive by Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar in the country's south, which he has billed as an attempt to root out terrorists and foreign fighters from the restive region.
- Myanmar villagers flee fresh fighting in Rakhine state Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- Scores of tribal villagers in western Myanmar have crossed into Bangladesh in recent days amid fierce fighting between the army and ethnic rebels in the restive Rakhine state.
- US blocks UN motion against Israel's expulsion of al-Khalil monitors Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- The US has blocked yet another UN Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution that would condemn Israel for expelling an international observer group tasked with safeguarding Palestinians in the flashpoint West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
- S. Sudan's Kiir Blames Outsiders for Peace Deal Inaction VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- South Sudan President Salva Kiir said Thursday that implementation of the revitalized peace agreement still faced many challenges, largely because of the international community's wait-and-see stance on its implementation.
- UNMISS Boss: Conditions Improving in South Sudan VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- The head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan said there is reason to be hopeful that the country's transitional government will succeed.
- Burkina Faso Plagued by Terror Attacks, Rights Allegations VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- The Burkina Faso government claims to have killed 146 jihadists in the country's north this week, but Human Rights Watch says it believes some of the dead are civilians. The military is also implicated in dozens of extrajudicial killings in the same region.
- Conflicted Spain Delays EU Recognition of Venezuela's Guaidó VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- The recognition by several EU countries of Juan Guaidó as acting president of Venezuela this week may further isolate Nicolas Maduro but the hesitation of some European leaders to back the move may have bought Maduro valuable time in which to mobilize and step up repression against his opposition, observers say.
- Venezuela Military Barricades Key Border Crossing, Blocking Humanitarian Aid VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan soldiers have blocked a key border crossing to prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid from the United States and other foreign nations.
- US Envoy for Venezuela: Time for Talks with Maduro 'Long Passed' VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, Eliot Abrams, says the time for talks with President Nicolas Maduro "has long passed" except to negotiate his departure.
- The United States Supports the Venezuelan People With Humanitarian Assistance US Dept. of State 07 Feb 2019 -- Recognizing the regional Humanitarian Crisis: Former President Nicolas Maduro's systematic economic mismanagement, corruption, and violent oppression have caused severe shortages of food and medicine and needless human suffering, resulting in an exodus of millions of Venezuelans to neighboring countries.
- Caracas ready to negotiate with opp. 'within next 15 days' Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza says the government of President Nicolas Maduro is ready to sit at the negotiating table with the opposition "within the next 15 days," even as he voices skepticism about opposition intentions to pursue real dialog.
- HispanTV's exclusive interview with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- What follows is the transcription of HispanTV's exclusive interview with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza
- Time for Dialogue With Maduro 'Has Long Passed' - US Envoy to Venezuela Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- Elliott Abrams, US President Donald Trump's special envoy to Venezuela, told a US State Department press briefing Thursday that the time for dialogue with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has "long passed" and advised other countries to deal with Juan Guaido, the self-appointed interim president recognized by Washington.
- Washington Already Made Decision on Forceful Intervention in Venezuela - Moscow Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- The United States is working on scenarios for regime change in Venezuela, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has stated at a weekly briefing in Moscow.
- Venezuelan Opposition to Get Money From US Fund Filled With Oil Money - Report Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- Washington earlier imposed sanctions against Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA and passed control over some of its foreign funds held by US-insured banks to Juan Guaido, a leader of the opposition, who proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela.
- Days of foreign intervention in Latin America long gone: UN Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the days of foreign intervention in Latin America are "long ago gone," expressing hope that no foreign forces would enter Venezuela, after US President Donald Trump repeated his threats of taking military action against the South American country.
- US House intel panel to probe collusion with Russia Press TV 06 Feb 2019 -- The US House of Representatives' intelligence panel is set to investigate "any links or coordination between US persons and the Russian government."
- Trump Calls New Probe Into Alleged Collusion With Russia 'Unlimited Harassment' Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has stated that the new probe launched into his alleged collusion with Russia by the US House Intelligence Committee as "unlimited presidential harassment".
- Friend Of Russia's Butina Indicted On Fraud, Money-Laundering Charges RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- A conservative U.S. political activist who has been identified as the boyfriend of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina has been indicted by a federal grand jury in South Dakota, officials say.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, February 7, 2019 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 07 Feb 2019
- News Analysis: Why Trump, Kim choose to meet in Vietnam in late February? People's Daily 07 Feb 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced in the annual State of the Union (SOTU) speech a second meeting with the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong Un, on Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam.
- Experts: Plan for Partial Denuclearization Realistic Goal at 2nd Trump-Kim Summit VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- A roadmap for partial denuclearization is a realistic goal for President Donald Trump to set for the second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, because Pyongyang is unlikely to give up all its nuclear weapons in the near future, experts said.
- Analysts: Location, Length of Second US-North Korea Summit Important VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump announced during his State of the Union Address Tuesday that he would next meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on February 27-28.
- Highlights of Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's Islamic Revolution address Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah spoke Wednesday on the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, praising the outstanding achievements made in Iran in different fields after the victory of the 1979 revolution.
- Threats can't force Iran into bargaining over missile might, regional interests: Top cmdr. Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- Iran's top military commander says enemy threats will fail to intimidate the Islamic Republic into bargaining over its missile power and regional interests.
- France's US envoy defends Europe's stay in Iran deal, says all states must stick to signatures Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- The French ambassador to the US has defended Europe's decision to stay committed to the Iran deal in defiance of Washington's pressure and threats, saying all countries should stick to their signatures.
- Leaked Files Shed Light On Iran's Brutal, Decades-Long Crackdown On Journalists RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- Iranian authorities arrested, imprisoned, or executed at least 860 journalists in the three decades between the 1979 revolution and 2009, the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on February 7, citing leaked Iranian justice department documents.
- Treasury Sanctions Turkish National as Foreign Sanctions Evader Due To Repeated Violations of U.S. Sanctions Against Iran US Treasury 07 Feb 2019 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took unprecedented action to concurrently designate a foreign sanctions evader and announce a directly related settlement with a U.S. company. OFAC sanctioned a Turkey-based individual, Evren Kayakiran, who directed a foreign subsidiary of a U.S. company to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran and then attempted to conceal those violations.
- Attempted Space Launch by the Iranian Regime US Dept. of State 07 Feb 2019 -- "In defiance of the international community, the Iranian regime continues to develop and test ballistic missiles, including a reported second failed space launch in less than a month."
- Imagery Suggests Second Launch Attempt Of Iranian Satellite RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- Two satellite-imagery companies have released photos that suggest Iran has attempted a second launch of a satellite after the failure of the first lift-off in January.
- PHOTOS Suggest Alleged Iran's 'Attempt to Launch Satellite' Despite US Criticism Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in January that two domestically made satellites would be launched "in the coming days" despite US claims that this would violate a UN Security Council resolution dealing with Tehran's nuclear programme.
- Khashoggi 'victim of brutal killing by Saudi officials': UN probe Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- A UN-led probe into Jamal Khashoggi's murder has concluded that the Saudi dissident was the victim of a "brutal and premeditated killing" planned and perpetrated by the kingdom's officials.
- Evidence shows 'brutal' killing of Saudi journalist 'planned and perpetrated' by State officials: UN independent expert UN News 07 Feb 2019 -- Evidence collected in Turkey shows on initial examination, that former dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of "a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials of the State of Saudi Arabia," according to the United Nations expert conducting an independent human rights inquiry into his death.
- UK's May planning to delay second Brexit vote: Report Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- British Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly decided to delay next week's parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal out of fears that she will not be able to renegotiate a deal with the European Union (EU) by then.
- Juncker Rules Out EU Reopening Withdrawal Agreement at Meeting With UK PM May Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ruled out at the meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May that the bloc may renegotiate the withdrawal agreement with London, the European Commission said in a statement, adding that the two senior officials would meet before the end of February to sum up the Brexit discussions.
- Ukrainian Parliament Passes Constitutional Amendment To Reflect EU, NATO Aspirations RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- The Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has approved in its final reading a constitutional amendment that reflects the country's strategic goal of becoming a member of NATO and the European Union.
- After Slip In Polls, Tymoshenko Goes Low In Ukraine Campaigning RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- As she slipped from the top spot in preelection polls, Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko has offered explosive and seemingly unsubstantiated claims this week in an apparent effort to climb back atop an expanding field.
- Ukraine Moves To Bar Election Monitors From 'Aggressor State' Russia RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- Ukrainian lawmakers have voted to ban Russian citizens from serving as election monitors in the country.
- EU To Call For Ukraine Support Ahead Of Elections, In Document Seen By RFE/RL RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- Eighteen European Union member states have called on the bloc to be "ready to act" in support of Ukraine in case Russian tries to undermine the country's presidential and parliamentary elections later this year, according to a document seen by RFE/RL.
- Russia-OPEC alliance impossible under Trump: Pompeo Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- Us Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says an alliance between Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will not happen as long as President Donald Trump is in office.
- France Backs Changes To EU Energy Rules Seen As Threat To Nord Stream 2 RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- France says it supports proposed amendments to rules on the European Union's energy market that could potentially threaten the completion of an underwater natural-gas pipeline between Russia and Germany through the Baltic Sea.
- Israel's move depletes Lebanon's offshore oil reserves, Berri warns Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has warned that Israel may deplete his country's potential offshore oil and gas reserves after the Tel Aviv regime awarded energy exploration licenses near a disputed maritime boundary in Mediterranean waters.
- Israel Exploits Lebanese 'Oil Wealth', Infringes Its Sovereignty – Top Lawmaker Sputnik 07 Feb 2019 -- A particular part of a nearby sea shelf, called Block 9, has been a source of tension between Israel and Lebanon since the 2000s, as both states claim that the area falls within their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
- Bahrain revokes citizenship of over 810 dissidents: Rights group Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- A non-governmental rights group says Bahraini officials have revoked the citizenship of hundreds of people after convicting them of alleged terror charges as the Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its crackdown on political dissent in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
- Upcoming Nigerian Elections US Dept. of State 07 Feb 2019
- Nigerian army plotting to kill Sheikh Zakzaky: IMN Press TV 07 Feb 2019 -- The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) says the country's army is plotting to kill incarcerated top Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky in a "staged" shootout.
- Parliamentary bid to democratize Myanmar constitution a 'positive development' says UN rights expert UN News 07 Feb 2019 -- A newly formed parliamentary committee to amend Myanmar's problematic constitution was welcomed as a positive move on Thursday by Yanghee Lee, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the country.
- Britain Seizes $650 Million From Son Of Jailed Former Moldovan Prime Minister RFE/RL 07 Feb 2019 -- A court in Britain has ordered the son of former Prime Minister Vladimir Filat to hand over $650 million following an investigation by Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA).
- Sudan President Reportedly Softens Stance Amid Protests VOA 07 Feb 2019 -- Sudan's crackdown on anti-government protesters could jeopardize efforts to normalize relations with the United States, some key U.S. observers say.
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