22 February 2019 Military News
- Trump Denies Reversal of Syria Troop Decision VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that his decision to leave a small number of U.S. troops in Syria did not constitute a reversal of his plan to withdraw all troops from the country.
- US to Leave Around 200 Peacekeepers in Syria After Pullout, White House Says Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- About 200 US peacekeepers will remain in Syria after the military withdraws from the country, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
- Trump Says US Can Leave Small Force in Syria Amid Troops Pullout Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Earlier, an anonymous US administration official told media that US would keep around 200 troops at the al-Tanf base and around 200 more soldiers in north-eastern Syria.
- Trump says not 'reversing course' on troops in Syria Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- US President Donald Trump says he is not changing his decision about the withdrawal of American troops from Syria despite reports that 400 troops will stay in the war-stricken country.
- US to keep 200 troops in Syria on 'peacekeeping' mission: White House Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- The White House has announced that around 200 American troops will remain in Syria on a "peacekeeping" mission despite President Donald Trump's pledge to fully evacuate the Arab country.
- U.S. Says 200 'Peacekeeping' Troops To Stay In Syria After Pullout RFE/RL 22 Feb 2019 -- The United States says it will at least temporarily leave 200 "peacekeeping" troops in Syria after a planned pullout of the main U.S. force from the war-torn country.
- Update: air strikes against Daesh UK MOD 22 Feb 2019 -- The RAF are continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Syria.
- U.S. Calls On Kabul To Form 'Unified, Inclusive' Negotiating Team For Peace Talks RFE/RL 22 Feb 2019 -- The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan has called on the Afghan government to create a "unified, inclusive, and national negotiating team" to join in peace talks with Taliban negotiators.
- Taliban: Progress Expected in Monday's Talks With US VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- The Afghan Taliban says it will resume negotiations Monday with the United States in Qatar, insisting the meeting "will prove positive" despite recent hiccups and propaganda against the peace process.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Air Force awards $739M launch service contracts US Air Force 22 Feb 2019 -- The U.S. Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), in partnership with the National Reconnaissance Office, awarded two Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) launch service contracts Feb. 19.
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Meeting with Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar DoD 22 Feb 2019
- Acting Secretary Shanahan and General Dunford Media Availability Prior to Honors Parade DoD 22 Feb 2019 -- Acting Secretary Shanahan and General Dunford Media Availability Prior to Honors Parade
- Acting Secretary Shanahan and Minister Akar Remarks at the Opening of the Bilateral Meeting DoD 22 Feb 2019 -- Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and Turkey Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar
- U.S., Turkish Defense Officials Discuss Syria, Other Issues at Pentagon Meeting DoD News 22 Feb 2019 -- U.S. and Turkish defense officials met today at the Pentagon to discuss the future of operations in Syria and the other areas where the two countries fight together.
- Defense Department Awards $10 Million in Funding to Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute DoD 22 Feb 2019 -- The Department of Defense has awarded $10 million in funding to the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), with an option of $20 million more over the upcoming five years to lead the digital future of manufacturing Feb. 21. This award is part of a new multi-year follow-on agreement with a ceiling of $60 million of government funding.
- U.S.-Belgian Partnership Helps Underpin Security, Shanahan Says DoD News 22 Feb 2019 -- The U.S.-Belgian alliance underpins security, and working together with the other NATO nations, they offer reliability in an unpredictable world, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan said yesterday as he welcomed Belgian Defense Minister Didier Reynders to the Pentagon.
- US military conducts surveillance flight over Russia Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- A Pentagon official has announced that the US military is conducting a surveillance flight over Russia as part of a 17-year-old international agreement designed to build up confidence through opening the skies of the two countries to mutual observation.
- Joint Air Defense Exercise sharpens skills, strengthens partnerships US Air Force 22 Feb 2019 -- Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of U.S. Central Command worked together with regional partners to conduct Joint Air Defense Exercise 19-01, a regularly scheduled three-day training event focused on increasing the readiness of air defense assets in the CENTCOM area of responsibility. The U.S. Air Forces Central Command-led exercise included increased participation in the live-fly portion to include B-1B Lancers, F-15E Strike Eagles and coalition partner aircraft.
- Airmen demonstrate Rapid Global Mobility in Venezuela humanitarian mission US Air Force 22 Feb 2019 -- Airlifting 250 tons of relief supplies to alleviate a humanitarian crisis on the other side of the hemisphere requires layers coordination between multiple military and civilian agencies in a condensed timeframe.
- If US Deploys Missiles in Europe, We Will Have to React - Belarus President Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier warned that Moscow would be "forced" to answer in kind if the US deployed new medium- and short-range missiles in Europe amid its recent withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
- Velayat-97 wargame starts IRNA 22 Feb 2019 -- `Velayat 97' wargame (February 22-24) started in the Sea of Oman on Friday with the code of 'Ya Zahra' to parade different kinds of the surface and under-surface navy fleet.
- Fateh submarine, Sahand destroyer showcased at Velayat-e 97 drills IRNA 22 Feb 2019 -- IRNA- The Fateh (conqueror) submarine and Sahand destroyer -- both indigenized -- were used in Velayat-e 97 drills for the first time.
- Navy to launch missiles from under surface in Velayat-e 97 drill IRNA 22 Feb 2019 -- For the first ever, the Islamic Republic Navy will launch missiles from under surface on Friday, said Commander of the Islamic Republic Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi.
- Iran kicks off large-scale naval drill in Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- Iranian naval forces on Friday started a massive three-day drill, codenamed "Velayat 97", in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
- Google images showing Taiwan's military locations removed: minister CNA 22 Feb 2019 -- The satellite imagery on Google Maps that raised public concerns because they exposed the locations of Taiwan's important military deployments have been removed from the web mapping service's platform, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said Friday.
- UK military flight training heads towards new heights UK MOD 22 Feb 2019 -- The first flight of the Texan T1 state-of-the-art training aircraft has been completed at RAF Valley.
- UAE denies easing Qatar ban, signs $5.5 billion arms deal Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- The UAE has rejected reports that an almost two-year Saudi-led embargo on Qatar has been eased, stressing the ban on the shipping of goods between Abu Dhabi and Doha is still in place.
- 22 February 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 22 Feb 2019
- Kurds Laud US Decision to Keep Some Troops in Syria VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- Kurdish groups fighting Islamic State militants in Syria welcomed the U.S. decision to keep up to several hundred troops in Syria, saying the move would be crucial to keeping peace in the region.
- Exodus Underway From Last Islamic State Holdout VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- Dozens of trucks carrying men, women and children left the last piece of the Islamic State terror group's caliphate Friday, while bursts of gunfire echoed across the desert, and the sound of coalition planes and drones screamed overhead.
- Pakistan army vows 'full force' response if India attacks Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- Pakistan's army warns that it will respond to any attack by India with "full force" amid a freighted atmosphere surrounding the ties between the two nuclear-armed neighbors regarding Kashmir.
- Trump Calls India-Pakistan Standoff 'Very Dangerous' RFE/RL 22 Feb 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has called the standoff between Pakistan and India a "very dangerous situation" and warned that New Delhi is considering "something very strong" after an attack on its forces in the disputed region of Kashmir.
- India to cut flow of river water to Pakistan as tensions rise over Kashmir attack Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- India has once again threatened to restrict the flow of water through its rivers to Pakistan as tensions heighten following a deadly bomb attack in the Indian-controlled Kashmir.
- India's Supreme Court Orders Protection of Kashmiris VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- India's Supreme Court has ordered the government to protect Kashmiris following reports of a backlash against Kashmiri students and traders in the wake of a suicide attack in Indian Kashmir that killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops last week.
- Without scaled-up humanitarian assistance 'more and more people' at risk in South Sudan UN News 22 Feb 2019 -- "Alarming" food insecurity threatens nearly seven million people in South Sudan, according to a new report by three United Nations agencies appealing for greater assistance and better access to humanitarian relief.
- More Than Half of South Sudan's Population Facing Food Crisis VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- Three leading United Nations agencies warn that more than half of South Sudan's population is suffering extreme hunger, and humanitarian aid is urgently needed.
- Guterres meets Venezuela Foreign Minister, reiterates humanitarian principles UN News 22 Feb 2019 -- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres met on Friday with Jorge Arreaza, Foreign Minister of Venezuela, reiterated that the UN acts in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, working with Venezuelan institutions, to assist people in need.
- Statement from the Press Secretary The White House 22 Feb 2019
- Venezuelan Civilians Killed in Clash with Security Forces on Border VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- At least two civilians have died in Venezuela and about a dozen more were injured in a confrontation with security forces Friday near the national border with Brazil.
- Venezuelan refugees now number 3.4 million; humanitarian implications massive, UN warns UN News 22 Feb 2019 -- As the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela continues to rise – hitting the 3.4 million mark this month – United Nations agencies sounded the alarm on Friday over the humanitarian needs these women, children and men face, and the strain this represents for communities hosting them.
- Venezuela seals border with Brazil People's Daily 22 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday ordered the country's southern border with Brazil be sealed off.
- Russia, China back Maduro as US-led showdown nears Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- China and Russia are rallying behind Venezuela, warning against military intervention in the Latin American country which is facing a showdown Saturday when the opposition plans to bring in a US "aid" package.
- US Air Force Plane With Aid for Venezuela Arrives in Colombia's Cucuta Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- A US Air Force plane carrying humanitarian aid, expected to be distributed by the Venezuelan opposition, has arrived in Cucuta, Columbia on Friday afternoon, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the airport.
- Brazil Halts Aid Delivery to Town Near Venezuelan Border – Military Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Brazil will stop airlifting aid to the town of Pacaraima on Venezuela's border until further notice, its military said Friday during a press briefing at the Boa Vista air base.
- Bolivian President Likens Venezuela Relief Aid to Trojan Horse Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Bolivian President Evo Morales on Friday compared the planned relief aid shipment to Venezuela to a Trojan horse sent in to provoke a war.
- Maduro Culpable for Any Future Violence During Aid Delivery Attempt - Bogota Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo has stated that Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro would be the person held accountable should violence break out during attempts to deliver humanitarian aid into Venezuela.
- No Possibility of Coup in Venezuela, Risk of External Meddling Remains - Caracas Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Gil has said in a statement that any resolution to the crisis in the country should be through a dialogue between the opposition and the government.
- US Transferring Special Troops, Weapons Close to Venezuela - Moscow Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- The United States' provocations in Venezuela, if implemented, would dramatically increase the level of tension and confrontation in the world, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said in a statement.
- Kremlin Hopes Venezuela's Authorities Do Everything to Prevent Escalation Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- The Kremlin hopes that Venezuela's legitimate authorities will do everything necessary to prevent an escalation of tensions in light of the situation with US humanitarian aid, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday.
- Maduro Thanks Russia for Medicine Supplies to Venezuela Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for the supplies of medicines to the crisis-torn country.
- Washington on Edge as Mueller Probe Nears Completion VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- Get ready for some fireworks over the long-awaited Mueller report.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, February 22, 2019 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 22 Feb 2019
- The Week In Russia: The State Of The Nation And Its Missiles RFE/RL 22 Feb 2019 -- President Vladimir Putin altered his recipe a bit in his state-of-the-nation speech this year, omitting some of the prep work and hitting Washington and the West with a direct flame for a shorter period of time than last year, but the main ingredients were little changed -- as was the resulting dish he served the Russian people on state TV.
- Russia is a Peace-Loving Nation, Conducts Responsible Foreign Policy - Putin Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia while being a peace-loving state, will nevertheless continue to develop its defense capability for the sake of ensuring the country's security.
- Washington Lawyers Move To Delay Deadline For Turning Over Lesin Autopsy Records RFE/RL 22 Feb 2019 -- City lawyers in Washington, D.C., have moved to delay turning over autopsy documents related to the death of former Russian Press Minister Mikhail Lesin, following a judge's order to release the files.
- Two Pakistani Army Officers on Trial for Spying VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- Pakistan's military, in a rare announcement, said Friday that it had initiated court-martial proceedings against two senior officers on charges of espionage.
- IAEA reiterates Iran commitment under JCPOA IRNA 22 Feb 2019 -- The International Atomic Energy Agency in its 14th report, reiterated Iran compliance with its commitments under the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Salehi: Iran has technological power to return to pre-JCPOA situation IRNA 22 Feb 2019 -- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said on Thursday that Iran boasts of technological powers to return to the pre-JCPOA situation.
- Iran living up to nuclear deal terms despite US sanctions: IAEA Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- Iran continues to comply with the restrictions on its nuclear activities under a 2015 deal it signed with major global powers, a report by the UN nuclear agency says, even as the United States re-imposed sanctions against Tehran.
- Iran's revenge won't be limited to 'bunch of terrorists': IRGC Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- A senior Iranian general says the country will definitely avenge the recent terrorist attack on IRGC forces in Sistan and Baluchestan, but the revenge will not be limited to "a bunch of terrorists".
- China, U.S. kick off new round of high-level trade talks in Washington People's Daily 22 Feb 2019 -- China and the United States kicked off a fresh round of high-level economic and trade talks here on Thursday morning, as negotiators strive to beat a 90-day deadline that ends on March 1.
- China allows visit after UK renounces warship deployment Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- China has reversed its decision to cancel trade talks with the UK after British Finance Minister Philip Hammond criticized London's military plans for the deployment of a British warship in the Pacific.
- China Relations Shape Taiwan President's Re-election Campaign VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen announced her re-election bid this week following a bump in public polling that came after she spoke out against Chinese President Xi Jinping's suggestion that Taiwan and China unify as one country.
- Sudanese President Announces State of Emergency for One Year Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Previously, reported number of persons killed in nationwide clashes in Sudan between protesters and the police increased to 24 people.
- Sudan's President Bashir dissolves govt., declares one-year emergency Press TV 22 Feb 2019 -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has urged lawmakers to postpone controversial constitutional amendments, dissolved the central government, and declared a one-year state of emergency amid massive protests against poor living conditions.
- Nigeria's President Promises Safe Voting VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- Nigeria's president says polling stations will be safe Saturday when the country holds national elections after a one-week delay.
- Turkey Orders Almost 300 Military Personnel Arrested Over Alleged Links With Coup RFE/RL 22 Feb 2019 -- Turkey's prosecutor's office has ordered the arrest of 295 serving military personnel accused of ties with an alleged network led by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says orchestrated a 2016 attempted coup.
- Turkish Rights Crackdown, Global Outcry Both Intensify VOA 22 Feb 2019 -- Turkish authorities have issued hundreds of arrest warrants for military personnel accused of involvement in a 2016 failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. All are accused of links to the U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for masterminding the botched takeover.
- Japanese Probe Hayabusa2 Touches Down on Ryugu Asteroid Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- Japanese asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 landed on the surface of asteroid Ryugu for collecting samples and bringing them back to Earth, a live broadcast conducted by Japanese space agency JAXA showed on Friday.
- 1st Israeli Lunar Lander Lifts Off on Top of Falcon 9 Rocket From Cape Canaveral Sputnik 22 Feb 2019 -- A Falcon 9 launch vehicle has successfully blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying Israel's first lunar mission, Beresheet, Indonesian communications satellite Nusantara Satu, and the US Air Force Research Laboratory S5 spacecraft, a live broadcast on SpaceX's website showed.
- Sons of Joaquin Guzman Loera Aka "El Chapo" Charged with Drug Trafficking US Dept. of Justice 21 Feb 2019 -- An indictment against Joaquin Guzman Lopez and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, charging them with a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana for importation into the United States was unsealed last week.
- Former Kyrgyz President Atambaev Admits 'Many Mistakes' When In Office RFE/RL 22 Feb 2019 -- Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has admitted that he made mistakes while running the Central Asian nation from 2011 to 2017.
- Mercury Rising: Moldovan Opposition Shows Blood Tests To Back Poisoning Claim On Eve Of Elections RFE/RL 22 Feb 2019 -- Medical tests from two Moldovan opposition leaders who have accused the authorities of poisoning them show they had elevated levels of mercury in their blood in recent months.
- Moldova's Dodon: EU Uncertainty Highlights Need To Keep Close Russia Ties RFE/RL 22 Feb 2019 -- Moldovan President Igor Dodon says his country needs to maintain good relations with Russia amid uncertainty about the future of the European Union.
- U.S. Seeks to Recover Approximately $38 Million Allegedly Obtained from Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund US Dept. of Justice 22 Feb 2019 -- The Justice Department announced today the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of approximately $38 million in assets allegedly associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
- Public Designation of, and Visa Restrictions Placed on, Multiple Officials of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Due to Involvement in Significant Corruption, Human Rights Violations or Abuses, or Undermining of Democracy US Dept. of State 22 Feb 2019 -- The United States stands with the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.) following that country's historic transfer of power. The elections reflect the desire of the people of the D.R.C. for change and accountable government institutions. However, there are legitimate concerns over the conduct and transparency of the electoral process.
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