18 February 2019 Military News
- Slowly but surely, China is moving into Afghanistan TRT World 18 Feb 2019 -- As the war in Afghanistan winds down, China looks to make Afghanistan a bigger part of its regional ambitions.
Defense Policy / Programs
- U.S., Thai soldiers train on jungle survival, BRM, room clearing procedures Army News 18 Feb 2019 -- Soldiers of the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, and the Royal Thai Army learned jungle survival skills, basic rifle marksmanship and room clearing procedures Feb. 13, 2019, at Camp Barommatrailokkanat, Thailand, during Exercise Cobra Gold.
- Shanahan Discusses Results of Trip to Afghanistan, Iraq, Poland, Belgium, Germany DoD News 18 Feb 2019 -- Patrick M. Shanahan said his first trip as acting defense secretary was timely and has given him a lot to chew on moving forward.
- NATO Parliamentary Assembly visits NATO NATO 18 Feb 2019 -- Members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NPA) visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Monday (18 February 2019) for an exchange of views with the North Atlantic Council.
- Russia Ready to Upgrade India's A-50EI Airborne Early Warning - UAC Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- Russia is ready to upgrade the India-operated A-50EI airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, including with the involvement of third countries, Yury Slyusar, the president of the Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), told Sputnik.
- Iran-made missiles uniquely precise in world IRNA 18 Feb 2019 -- The precision of Iranian missiles is unique in the world so that they can hit the targets with the least fault, said the Chief of Staff of Armed Forces Major-General Mohammad-Hossein Baqeri on Monday.
- Navy commander: Iran's achievements 'can't be ingorned' IRNA 18 Feb 2019 -- The world can't ignore the achievements of the Islamic Republic of Iran, says the Navy commander.
- UK Announces Arctic Military Buildup to Counter Russia's Activities - Reports Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on Sunday the increase in the country's military presence in the Arctic to counter Russia's activities in the region.
- UK Military to Introduce Swarm Drones 'By End of the Year' – Defense Minister Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- Experts believe, however, that the Minister is too optimistic in his time estimation, saying drone swarms are years from becoming a reality.
- Riyadh's SAMI Agrees to Joint Venture With French Naval Group to Build Warships Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), the state-owned defense company, has signed on Sunday a preliminary agreement with France's Naval Group on the creation of a joint venture for the construction of warships in the kingdom.
- China to test magnetized plasma artillery Global Times 18 Feb 2019-- The Chinese military is looking to procure test systems for magnetized plasma artillery, according to a notice on the People's Liberation Army (PLA) weapon and equipment procurement website weain.mil.cn last week.
- UAE buys $1.8 billion US arms amid Yemen war Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia's main partner in a Riyadh-led coalition invading Yemen, has bought around $1.8 billion worth of American arms at an Abu Dhabi military exhibition.
- 18 February 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 18 Feb 2019
- 'Phase 1': Yemeni Conflict Parties Reach Agreement on Forces Redeployment - UN Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- Representatives of the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels from the Ansar Allah movement made significant progress in the talks, agreeing on the first phase of redeploying military forces during the fourth joint meeting on February 16-17, the press office of the UN Secretary-General said in a statement on Sunday.
- Iran denies claims of 'commitments' to UK on Yemen Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Iran has dismissed claims by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt that it has made special commitments to comply with the West's demands in order to end Saudi Arabia's ongoing war on Yemen.
- US Army says still backing Saudi-led war on Yemen Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Despite the dire need for a ceasefire in Yemen, the United States Army says it is still providing support for the war, which Saudi Arabia and its allies are waging against the impoverished country.
- IS Fighters Refusing to Leave Last Syrian Stronghold VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- Islamic State fighters are refusing to surrender to U.S.-backed Syrian forces and are asking for a safe exit from their last stronghold in eastern Syria, local military officials told VOA Monday.
- Islamic State Fighters in Syria Holding On, Looking for Escape VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- The last defenders of the Islamic State terror group's self-declared caliphate are refusing to surrender, clinging to their last sliver of land while hiding among hundreds of civilians.
- US illegitimate presence in Syria contributes to instability: Lavrov Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the illegal presence of US military forces in Syria is a source of instability in the conflict-plagued Arab country, stressing that any solution to the Syria crisis must be in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
- Over dozen people, mostly civilians, killed in double bomb attacks in Syria's Idlib Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- At least 15 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and scores of others injured in twin explosions in the militant-held northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, medics and witnesses say.
- Freedom of Movement for Internally Displaced Persons in Rukban US Dept. of State 18 Feb 2019 -- "The United States applauds the recent success of the United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) humanitarian convoy which brought life-saving humanitarian assistance to more than 40,000 displaced people at the Rukban informal camp in south-eastern Syria."
- In Fresh Violence, 4 Soldiers, 2 Militants Killed in Indian Kashmir VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- Four Indian soldiers and three suspected militants were among nine people killed Monday in a fierce gun battle as Indian security forces hunted for the organizers of a deadly suicide bombing that killed 40 paramilitary personnel in Indian Kashmir and escalated tensions between India and Pakistan.
- 4 Indian Soldiers, 2 Terrorists Killed in Counter-Terror Operation in Kashmir Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- This is the second incident involving a major loss of life of Indian security personnel after the one that took place on Thursday, when a suicide bomber from Jaish-e-Mohammed, a jihadist organisation, rammed an explosives-laden SUV into a paramilitary convoy belonging to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), killing over 40 servicemen.
- Pakistan Recalls Envoy From India Amid Rising Tensions RFE/RL 18 Feb 2019 -- Pakistan has recalled its ambassador from New Delhi for consultations amid growing tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, the Foreign Office in Islamabad said on February 18.
- 9 killed in Kashmir gunfight days after deadly bombing Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- At least nine people, including five Indian soldiers, have been killed in a fresh gun battle in Kashmir, days after a bomb attack claimed the lives of over 40 paramilitary troops in the disputed Himalayan region.
- India Deploys Additional Army Units Along Myanmar Border As Threat Escalates Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- The Indian government is wary of people – militants and refugees alike - crossing over the border and taking shelter inside the country.
- Tensions flare-up between UK and Spanish navies at Gibraltar Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- A British Royal Navy ship has been deployed to waters off Gibraltar to respond to an alleged violation of UK sovereignty over the Mediterranean territory by a Spanish warship.
- Spike in Gibraltar Tensions as Spanish Ship Orders Vessels to Leave UK Waters Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- Royal Navy ships have been deployed in response to the incident, which was described as a "foolish game" by a spokesperson for the government of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory. The incident comes amid UK-Spanish tensions over Gibraltar which have reached a fever-pitch as the 29 March date for Brexit approaches.
- Israel's freeze of Palestinians' money amounts to piracy: PLO official Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- A senior official from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) says a recent approval of a controversial plan by Israel to freeze money transfers to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is an all-out "piracy and an illegal economic aggression."
- Central African Republic: UNICEF outlines key actions so fresh peace deal can make real difference for children UN News 18 Feb 2019 -- Hailing the recent peace agreement signed by 15 warring parties in the Central African Republic (CAR), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) stressed on Monday that "now is the time for action" and outlined concrete steps that armed groups, judicial authorities and the Government can take so the future of millions of children can be safeguarded.
- Cameroon Yet to Build Planned Rehab Centers for ex-Boko Haram Fighters VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- In Cameroon, many Boko Haram fighters have surrendered in recent months. But Cameroon lacks facilities to rehabilitate them.
- Remarks by President Trump to the Venezuelan American Community The White House 18 Feb 2019
- Trump Warns Venezuelan Military to Abandon Maduro VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump, in a speech partly intended to be heard by members of the military of Venezuela, called for the end of socialism in that country, saying the United States seeks "a peaceful transition of power but all options are open."
- Pressure Grows on Europe to Back Venezuelan Opposition Leader VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- Pressure is growing on the European Union to formally back Venezuela's opposition, after three EU lawmakers were refused entry into the country Sunday.
- Moscow Calls Venezuela Aid Plans 'Chronicle of Pre-announced Provocation' Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido previously said that US humanitarian aid would be delivered to the country on 23 February. However, President Nicolas Maduro so far has refused to accept aid that the United States has delivered to neighbouring Colombia, blasting it as a ploy to topple his government.
- Moscow Says US, EU Trying to Bypass UN on Venezuela as Paris Insists on New Vote Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- Tensions in Venezuela escalated on January 23, when Guaido declared himself interim president, disputing President Nicolas Maduro's re-election last year.
- European Parliament Calls for EU Response After Venezuela Expels Delegation Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani lashed out on Monday at Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for expelling the parliament's delegation and urged Brussels to act.
- Venezuela denies European lawmakers entry over 'conspiratorial' intentions Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Venezuela has denied entry to a group of European Parliament deputies, who were planning to meet with opposition chief Juan Guaido, arguing that there were "conspiratorial" motives behind such a visit, amid a political crisis gripping the Latin American state.
- Former FBI Official Says Trump May Have Committed Crime In Firing Comey RFE/RL 18 Feb 2019 -- The former acting director of the FBI says U.S. President Donald Trump may have committed a crime if he fired a previous chief of the law-enforcement agency in an attempt to end the probe into his campaign's alleged ties to Russia.
- More states to join California lawsuit against Trump's emergency Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Several states are expected to join a California lawsuit against the Trump administration over the president's move to declare a national emergency to get the money for his border wall.
- Fired Dep. FBI Chief Claims Trump Trusted Putin Rather Than US Intel on N Korea Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- Earlier, it was reported that North Korea had a whole array of operational missile bases despite Pyongyang's promise to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, a goal which had been established during a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June 2018.
- Lithuanian FM: EU Russia Sanctions 'Sometimes Too Little, Sometimes Too Late' RFE/RL 18 Feb 2019 -- Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius has said that EU sanctions in response to Russia's actions destabilizing the situation in Ukraine are "sometimes too little, sometimes too late."
- U.S. Senator: No Provisions On Nord Stream 2 In New Sanctions Bill RFE/RL 18 Feb 2019 -- U.S. senator Bob Menendez says the new Russia sanctions bill that he is cosponsoring will not affect the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany underneath the Baltic Sea.
- Mogherini Does Not Rule Out More EU Sanctions on Russia Over Kerch Incident Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Monday that there was a chance the European Union could impose new sanctions on Russia in relation to the Kerch Strait incident within two weeks.
- Facebook Blocks 'Wildly Popular' RT-Run Page RFE/RL 18 Feb 2019 -- Facebook has blocked a popular page run by Russia's state-funded RT television channel, saying it was part of ongoing efforts to improve its transparency program.
- ICJ Begins Hearing Case of Indian National on Death Row in Pakistan Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May 2017 after Indian national and former Navy personnel Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.
- US blocks North Korean air traffic revival ahead of Trump-Kim summit Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- The US has prevented a UN agency from improving civil aviation in North Korea while Pyongyang is trying to reopen part of its airspace to foreign flights, three sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
- Iran: Europe Not Doing Enough to Keep Nuclear Deal Alive VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- Iran says Europe's efforts to keep the 2015 nuclear deal are failing and there is growing support among the Iranian people to restart the country's atomic program.
- Spox: Other countries may join INSTEX IRNA 18 Feb 2019 -- Spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it is possible that some other countries may join the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).
- Iran says India seeking to join INSTEX IRNA 18 Feb 2019 -- Iran says India has requested to join the European special payment mechanism, called INSTEX, to facilitate financial transactions and ease trade.
- FM spokesman censures slow progress of INSTEX IRNA 18 Feb 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman here on Monday criticized the slow progress of implementing the Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges between Iran and Europe (INSTEX) between Iran and Europe.
- Iran becomes self-sufficient in gasoline production Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has inaugurated third phase of the gas condensate plant, known as the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the southern city of Bandar Abbas.
- Self-sufficient Iran will overcome US sanctions: President Rouhani Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- President Hassan Rouhani says Iran has reached self-sufficiency in all areas, stressing that the nation will overcome the sanctions imposed by the United States.
- Enemies cannot hurt Iranian nation: Leader Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the fact that millions of people celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Revolution, once again proved that the enemies cannot hurt the Iranian nation.
- Iran Foreign Ministry urging talks with Pakistan to strengthen border security IRNA 18 Feb 2019 -- Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi urged the need for serious consultations with Pakistan to strengthen the border security between the two countries.
- Iran not to leave enemies' actions unanswered: Top military official IRNA 18 Feb 2019 -- Chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said on Monday that anti-Iran cowardly moves by the enemies will not go unanswered.
- Iran Arrests Six Over Deadly Suicide Bomb Attack On Security Forces RFE/RL 18 Feb 2019 -- Iran says it has arrested six people suspected of involvement in last week's deadly suicide bomb attack on security forces in the southern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.
- Iran presses Pakistan, vows 'fiery revenge' after bombing Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Iran says it has given Pakistan the "necessary warnings" to take urgent action to prevent terrorist groups based on its side of the border from freely crossing into Iran and orchestrating attacks.
- Saudi Minister: Iran Harboring al-Qaida's 'Board of Directors' VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of harboring what it said was "the board of directors of al-Qaida" and rejected charges Riyadh was behind last week's suicide car bombing that killed against 27 personnel of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
- Beijing urges US to objectively view intelligence laws Global Times 18 Feb 2019-- The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday urged the US to view China's intelligence related laws in a comprehensive and objective manner instead of making one-sided, biased and wrong interpretations.
- Saudi Crown Prince Concludes Landmark Pakistan Visit VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has concluded a landmark two-day visit to Pakistan where he oversaw the signing of unprecedented investment deals worth $20 billion and ordered the release of more than 2,000 Pakistanis from Saudi prisons.
- Cash-strapped Pakistan gives scandal-hit Saudi crown prince lavish welcome Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Amid much fanfare, the Saudi crown prince is visiting cash-strapped Pakistan on the first leg of an Asia tour in what analysts view as a charm offensive aimed at seeking allies and repairing his image, which has been badly tarnished on the world stage over the gruesome murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Riyadh's consulate in Turkey as well as the war crimes the kingdom has been committing in Yemen.
- Pakistan Honors Saudi Crown Prince After $20-Billion Deals RFE/RL 18 Feb 2019 -- Pakistan conferred its highest civilian honor on the Saudi crown prince on February 18 after he signed investment deals worth $20 billion the previous day on the first stop of an Asian tour that will also include visits to neighboring India and China.
- Riyadh, Islamabad Sign Investment Deals Worth $20Bln - Reports Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- Riyadh and Islamabad signed agreements worth $20 billion were signed during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan, the Saudi Gazette reported on Monday.
- Belarus Always Ready To Be EU's 'Reliable' Partner, Says Lukashenka RFE/RL 18 Feb 2019 -- MINSK -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says his country "Will always be the European Union's partner."
- Australian Political Parties Targeted In Mass Hacking Attempt VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the country's major political parties have been hit by a hack on their computer networks. The government says the systems were infiltrated by a "sophisticated state actor".
- Australia Says 'Sophisticated State Actor' Hacked Lawmakers, Parliament RFE/RL 18 Feb 2019 -- Australia says a "sophisticated state actor" was responsible for a cyberattack on Australian lawmakers earlier this month, most likely carried out by a foreign country.
- Cabinet pushes bill for referendum on cross-strait peace treaty CNA 18 Feb 2019 -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government and legislators have agreed to prioritize a bill during the Legislature's current session that would subject any peace agreement with China to a national referendum.
- Haiti announces nine economic measures, appeals for end to violent anti-govt. protests Press TV 18 Feb 2019 -- Haiti has unveiled a set of economic measures designed to end more than a week of violent anti-government demonstrations in the Caribbean country, asking the citizens to return to normal life from Monday on.
- Czech PM Says V4 Talks in Israel Cancelled After Poland Refuses to Participate Sputnik 18 Feb 2019 -- On Monday, Poland refused to take part in a Visegrad Group (V4) summit in Jerusalem following "racist" remarks expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
- South Sudan to Deduct from Civil Servants' Salaries – But Salaries Aren't Being Paid VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- The government of South Sudan says that beginning in March, it will deduct one day's salary from civil servants' paychecks each month to help pay for implementation of the peace deal aimed at ending the country's civil war.
- In 1 in 4 Elections, African Voters Face Delays VOA 18 Feb 2019 -- A last-minute decision to delay Nigeria's general election, now re-scheduled for Saturday, has fueled doubt about the commitment to a free and fair poll in Africa's most populous country.
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