09 February 2019 Military News
- Czech Republic Ready to Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan Following US – Minister Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- If the United States decides to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, the Czech Republic will follow, Czech Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar said on Saturday.
- US Steps Up Airstrikes on Taliban to Gain Leverage in Peace Talks - Reports Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- Washington has stepped up its airstrikes and raids targeting the Taliban* leadership and militants in Afghanistan in a bid to obtain leverage in peace talks with the movement, The New York Times newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources from the US Department of Defence.
- Airstrike Efficiency in Somalia Questioned by US AFRICOM Chief Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- The US military's onslaught of airstrikes in Somalia "aren't going to defeat al-Shabab," the head of US Africa Command (AFRICOM) told the Senate on Thursday.
Defense Policy / Programs
- U.S. and Thai armies complete exercise Hanuman Guardian 19 Army News 09 Feb 2019 -- Soldiers from the U.S. and Royal Thai Army completed an 11-day training exercise Feb. 7, 2019, at Camp Nimman Kolayut, Thailand. The closing ceremonies marked the 9th year of the bilateral training exercise known as Hanuman Guardian.
- US in Race With China, Russia to Develop Hypersonic Missile – USAF Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- Heather Wilson, secretary of the US Air Force, said on Friday that the US is closer to developing a hypersonic missile that travels at five times the speed of sound.
- Greek PM Welcomes North Macedonia As Partner After NATO Vote RFE/RL 09 Feb 2019 -- Greece's prime minister hailed North Macedonia as a "friendly" partner and called on it to join efforts to establish "safety, stability, and cooperation" in the Balkan region after his parliament approved a measure for it to join the NATO alliance.
- Parasite Puzzle: Answers Sought As Tapeworms Strike Russian Cadets RFE/RL 09 Feb 2019 -- Did some 25 cadets at a Defense Ministry military academy in this Volga River city become infected with dog tapeworm from carelessly petting a stray dog?
- Pakistan navy's international Aman-19 exercise begins IRNA 09 Feb 2019 -- The five-day naval exercise organized by Pakistan Navy, Aman-2019, in which 45 nations are taking part, has been kicked off in Pakistani port city of Karachi, state media reported.
- Chinese ships participate as multinational naval exercise kicks off in Pakistan Global Times 09 Feb 2019 -- The sixth Pakistan-led multinational maritime naval drills, Aman 19, kicked off on Friday at the Pakistan Navy Dockyard in Karachi with a colorful flag hoisting ceremony, with navies and observers from 46 countries including China, Russia and the US participating in the five-day exercise.
- Iran Army operationalizes new drones IRNA 09 Feb 2019 -- The Islamic Republic of Iran Army's Ground Force has made new drones operational, the commander of the Ground Forces of the Islamic Republic Army said.
- Sweden Has Developed Jet Able to 'Kill' Russian Sukhoi Planes, Commander Claims Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- The Swedish jet has no outstanding characteristics in comparison to the fifth-generation Su-57's, but reportedly has top of the line electronic warfare (EW) equipment and software, making it difficult for enemy jets to track it.
- Japan protests China gas activity in East China Sea Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- Japan has lodged a protest with China over its "continued deployment" of a drillship at a gas field in the East China Sea, which has been the subject of a territorial dispute between the two sides.
- Yemen shoots down Saudi spy drone IRNA 09 Feb 2019 -- Yemeni air defense units have shot down a Saudi reconnaissance drone in flight over a border area in Yemen's northwestern province of Hajjah on Saturday.
- Russia renews call for end of US military presence around Rukban camp IRNA 09 Feb 2019 -- Russia renewed its call for an end to the illegitimate US military presence in the area around al-Rukban camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border.
- US-led airstrikes claim 3 more civilian lives in Syria's Dayr al-Zawr Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- At least three civilians have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group conducted a series of airstrikes in Syria's embattled eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
- US-Backed SDF Launches Op to Clear Last Daesh-Held Pockets in Syria - Reports Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- In December 2018, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara's armed forces were ready to initiate a campaign in eastern Syria if the US didn't remove its Kurdish allies from the region. He later postponed the operation after talks with his American counterpart Donald Trump, who announced a US troop pull-out from Syria.
- US-backed Fighters Launch Final Push to Defeat IS in Syria VOA 09 Feb 2019 -- U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said Saturday that they had begun an assault against Islamic State to clear the last enclave the militant group controls in eastern Syria.
- SDF Prepares for Final Push Against Daesh-Held Territory in Syria - Report Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are preparing for their final offensive against Daesh, which is cornered in a tiny sliver of territory along the Syrian border with Iraq.
- Libyan National Army Planes Carry Out Airstrikes Near El Feel Oilfield - Reports Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- The reports about the airstrike come amid an operation that the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched on 15 January aimed at destroying local terror groups and establishing control over oil fields in the southwestern part of the country.
- Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland Give $14 Million To UN Aid For Eastern Ukraine RFE/RL 09 Feb 2019 -- The governments of Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland have announced they will pledge some $14 million over the next three years to a UN project to promote social cohesion and strengthen regional governance in eastern Ukraine.
- Israel to confiscate Palestinian land for sewage network in central West Bank Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- Israeli authorities plan to confiscate thousands of square meters of private Palestinian land in the central West Bank to construct a sewage network for settlements in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions condemning the Tel Aviv regime's land expropriation policies in the occupied territories.
- African continent 'an example of solidarity' towards migrants and refugees: UN chief UN News 09 Feb 2019 -- African nations are setting an example for richer countries when it comes to the treatment of refugees, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a press conference on Saturday, following a meeting with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- Nearly 70 Killed in Cameroon as Separatists Stop Youth Week Activities VOA 09 Feb 2019 -- Renewed fighting has killed 69 people in English-speaking regions of Cameroon, where armed separatists have ordered people to stay inside their homes as the country prepares to celebrate its national youth day.
- UN Ramps Up Humanitarian Aid Inside Venezuela VOA 09 Feb 2019 -- U.N. aid agencies are ramping up humanitarian aid inside Venezuela, while refusing to weigh in on the controversial political situation dividing the country and international community.
- Head of Southern Command on Russia in Venezuela: 'Anything's Possible' VOA 09 Feb 2019 -- The United States should not rule out Russian military involvement in Venezuela, according to the new head of U.S. Southern Command.
- Guaido says may ask US military intervention in Venezuela Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- Venezuela's Juan Guaido does not rule a US military intervention to oust President Nicolas Maduro amid reports that Washington is in direct contact with Venezuelan generals to stoke a mutiny.
- Venezuela's PDVSA Wants to Replace US Execs on Citgo Petroleum Board - Reports Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- After Washington recognised self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido as the legitimate head of Venezuela, the US Treasury blocked all the assets of the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA and imposed a ban on making deals with it.
- US Impedes Dialogue With Opposition - Venezuelan Vice President Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- It is Washington's instructions impeding a dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said in an interview with the broadcaster RT.
- Guaido Not Ruling Out Intervention Amid Alleged US Contacts With Venezuelan Army Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- The development comes just a few days after US President Donald Trump said that Washington's military intervention in crisis-hit Venezuela was "an option". Earlier this week, WH National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted that the US would consider lifting sanctions on top Venezuelan military officers if they back opposition leader Juan Guaido.
- Russia Warns EU Over 'Obstacles' In Constructing Nord Stream 2 RFE/RL 09 Feb 2019 -- Russia has warned the European Union not to adopt tighter energy rules that could complicate plans to build a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea.
- 'Hundreds' Of Chinese, Russia Agents 'Operating' In Brussels RFE/RL 09 Feb 2019 -- Hundreds of Russian and Chinese intelligence agents are operating in Brussels, the EU's foreign service has warned.
- Swarming with Spooks: Brussels Claimed to be Overrun with Chinese, Russian Spies Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- Brussels is a hotbed of Russian and Chinese spies according to a recent report from a popular German newspaper.
- Bulgaria Set To Probe Report Of Third Skripal Suspect RFE/RL 09 Feb 2019 -- Bulgarian officials say they will investigate reports that a third suspect in the 2018 nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain may have also been involved in a 2015 poisoning in Bulgaria.
- China denies 'ridiculous' spying allegations against Huawei by Lithuania Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- China has dismissed allegations made by US ally Lithuania against its telecommunication giant Huawei Technologies, describing them as "absurd and ridiculous."
- Trump: Hanoi will host second summit with North Korea's Kim Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- US President Donald Trump says he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 and 28.
- US, North Korea Agree on Hanoi For Second Trump-Kim Summit Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- US President Donald Trump announced Friday via Twitter that the second summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 and 28.
- US, North Korea Envoys Agree to More Talks Before Trump-Kim Summit – State Dept Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun and his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol have agreed to conduct a new round of talks ahead of the presidential summit later this month, the Department of State said in a press release.
- US threatens retaliation if companies tap Iran trade vehicle IRNA 09 Feb 2019 -- Companies using a European initiative meant to facilitate trade with Iran face US retaliation, President Donald Trump's envoy in Brussels said in a warning that casts even greater doubts about the plan's effectiveness in countending with US sanctions.
- Iraq reiterates opposition to US sanctions against Iran: Parliament speaker Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi reiterates his country's opposition to sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran.
- Iraq Faces Challenges to Make Society Whole Again VOA 09 Feb 2019 -- The International Committee of the Red Cross reports the Iraqi government faces enormous challenges in renovating its battered country and rebuilding the trust of its population after many years of bruising warfare.
- Imran Khan to meet IMF chief for talks on Pakistan bailout Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to meet the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss issues that have interrupted bailout negotiations, an official says.
- Pakistan Arrests Journalist, Academic Critical Of Authorities RFE/RL 09 Feb 2019 -- Pakistan has arrested a journalist and academic known for their criticism of the government, as media workers and activists face unprecedented pressure from authorities.
- Trump declines to report to Congress on Khashoggi's killing Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has ignored a deadline by Congress to determine who ordered the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and whether he intends to impose sanctions on Riyadh, prompting an angry backlash on Capitol Hill.
- Blaming MbS for Khashoggi's murder 'a red line': Top Saudi official Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir says blaming the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be crossing "a red line."
- US State Department Confirms Pompeo Updated Congress on Khashoggi Killing Sputnik 09 Feb 2019 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo provided Congress with an update on journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing, a State Department spokesperson told Sputnik.
- US military alarmed by possible threats from Chinese space station in Argentina: Report Press TV 09 Feb 2019 -- The United States military is concerned about possible "threats" coming from a Chinese-run space station in Argentina which Beijing used recently to land a probe on the dark side of the moon, according to a new report.
- Ukrainian President Vows To Push For EU, NATO Membership As He Launches Reelection Campaign RFE/RL 09 Feb 2019 -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Kyiv must join the European Union and NATO to protect itself from Russia as he officially launched his reelection campaign.
- Serbs Rally To Demand President Vucic Step Down RFE/RL 09 Feb 2019 -- Thousands of people have rallied in Belgrade and other cities across Serbia on February 9 for the 10th week in a row to demand the resignation of President Aleksandar Vucic.
- Thai King Dashes Sister's Political Dreams VOA 09 Feb 2019 -- Thailand's king has crushed the plans of his older sister to become a candidate for the country's prime minister.
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