25 February 2019 Military News
- Update: air strikes against Daesh UK MOD 25 Feb 2019 -- The RAF are continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Syria.
- Afghan political leaders, tribal elders to hold Loya Jirga on Taliban talks Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- In Afghanistan, political leaders and tribal elders will hold a large gathering known as Loya Jirga in March on negotiations with the Taliban.
- Qatar: Taliban political chief to join talks with US in Doha Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Qatar has announced that the Taliban political chief is set to lead a delegation from the Afghan militant group for what would mark the highest-level negotiations yet with the US on ending the 17-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.
- U.S. Envoy, Taliban Co-Founder Meet In Qatar For Peace Talks RFE/RL 25 Feb 2019 -- U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with one of the Afghan Taliban's co-founders in Qatar, in what was said to be the highest-level engagement between the two sides as part of Afghanistan's peace process.
- 'Deeply Disturbing': Civilian Deaths in Washington's Afghan War at 9-Year High Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- More civilians were killed in 2018 than in any of the previous nine years of the 18-year US war in Afghanistan, according to new data.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Shanahan, Dunford Visit U.S.-Mexico Border DoD News 25 Feb 2019 -- Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, journeyed to Texas over the weekend to get a feel for the situation on the Southwest border.
- Former US Security Officials to Oppose Emergency Declaration VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- A group of 58 former U.S. national security officials, both Republicans and Democrats, contended Monday that President Donald Trump had "no factual basis" to declare a national emergency to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to thwart illegal immigration.
- DOD Recognizes Acquisition Reformers DoD News 25 Feb 2019 -- Defense Department Comptroller David L. Norquist, performing the duties of deputy secretary of defense, recognized acquisition personnel who saved DOD roughly $1.7 billion during the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Awards ceremony at the Pentagon today.
- USS Donald Cook Participates in Maritime Training with Turkey NNS 25 Feb 2019 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) participated in maritime interoperability training Feb. 22 with Turkish maritime counterparts in the Black Sea.
- USS Donald Cook Arrives in Odesa, Ukraine NNS 25 Feb 2019 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) arrived in Odesa, Ukraine, Feb. 25, 2019 for a scheduled port visit as part of our continued Black Sea presence and support to our region partners.
- Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Wraps Up COMPTUEX NNS 25 Feb 2019 -- After weeks at sea drilling and training through a variety of challenging and realistic scenarios during their composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), the Sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) returned to Naval Station Norfolk Feb. 23.
- Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Paul Ignatius NNS 25 Feb 2019 -- The Navy accepted delivery of the future guided missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) from Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls shipbuilding division, Feb. 22.
- US Air Force Upgrades Its B-52 Bombers to Carry More Smart Munitions Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- The US Air Force is upgrading the smart weapons capacity of its B-52 heavy bomber fleet. The new and improved Conventional Rotary Launchers (CRLs) will dramatically increase the heavy bomber's ability to quickly engage targets.
- American Warship, Cargo Vessel Pass Through Taiwan Strait Amid US-China Tensions Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- Relations between Washington and Beijing have remained strained due to their bilateral trade dispute and continuing US naval operations in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
- US Army Awards $502Mln Contract to Manage Pacific Missile Test Range - Raytheon Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- The US Army has awarded a $502 million contract to manage tests of ballistic missiles and missile defense systems over the Pacific to RGNext, a joint venture between Raytheon and General Dynamics, Raytheon announced in a press release on Monday.
- Japan, South Korea Scramble to Intercept Chinese Spy Plane Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- Japan and South Korea scrambled their fighter jets Saturday to intercept a Chinese spy plane flying close to their airspace. The surveillance aircraft never entered either country's airspace, though.
- Defence Secretary Announces £235 Million Submarine Nuclear Propulsion Deal UK MOD 25 Feb 2019 -- Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has awarded a £235m contract to support nuclear propulsion systems and revealed the name of the third Dreadnought submarine.
- Russia questions US push to form 'Arab NATO' Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov questions a reported push underway by the United States to "forcefully" band together a NATO-like Arab military alliance.
- PM Abe: Japan to proceed with US base relocation despite Okinawa vote outcome Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe says Tokyo will proceed with a controversial plan to relocate a US air base in Okinawa, turning a deaf ear to the outcome of a referendum on the island, in which locals resoundingly voiced their opposition to the construction of a new American base there.
- US Base in Okinawa to Be Relocated Despite Referendum Results - Japanese PM Abe Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- A total of 72.2 percent of those who voted in the referendum on the Japanese island of Okinawa voted against plans to build a new military airfield for US troops in their prefecture, the referendum's results showed on 25 February.
- Council of EU Prolongs Arms Embargo on Belarus Until End of February 2020 Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- The Council of the European Union has decided to prolong arms embargo on Belarus, as well as sanctions introduced against four Belarusian nationals, until the end of next February, the council said in a statement.
- Army using advanced cameras, UAVs to minor borders: Iranian official IRNA 25 Feb 2019 -- The commander of Ground Forces of Iranian Army announced that the country's borders are being closely monitored by advanced cameras and UAVs.
- IRGC to deploy forces along maritime, land borders to fight smuggling: MP IRNA 25 Feb 2019 -- The IRGC forces are to be deployed along land and maritime borders to help border guards fight smuggling of goods and currency, a senior Iranian security official said.
- Iranian Parliament agrees to allocate €1.5bln for enhancing defense power ISNA 25 Feb 2019 -- Iranian Parliament approved a motion to allocate €1.5 billion for boosting the defense power.
- Iran unveils its first homemade waterjet engine ISNA 25 Feb 2019 -- Iran's first homemade waterjet engine produced by Iranian Ministry of Defense's Marine Industries Organization with cooperation of related Iranian universities was unveiled on Monday.
- Israeli F-35s Were Reportedly Behind January Raid on Damascus Airport Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- The Israeli Air Force conducted an airstrike on Damascus International Airport in January claiming to be targeting Iranian troops, whose presence Damascus and Tehran have repeatedly denied. Syrian air defences managed to intercept some 30 missiles, but some still managed to get through and damage the airport's infrastructure.
- Deputy Minister of Defense inspects front lines along southern border SPA 25 Feb 2019 -- Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the Deputy Minister of Defense, in his first mission as Deputy Minister of Defense, conveyed the greetings of the Saudi leadership to the men of the armed forces stationed at the southern border.
- Germany's SPD to extend freeze on arms sales to Riyadh Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which is part of the ruling coalition, says it has plans to extend an embargo on arms supplies to Saudi Arabia despite pressure from major European countries not to do so.
- Make progress or risk redundancy, UN chief warns world disarmament body UN News 25 Feb 2019 -- A new global vision for arms control is needed and States must not "sleepwalk" into a new nuclear arms race, the UN Secretary-General said on Monday.
- Contracts for February 25, 2019
- Raytheon and General Dynamics to operate Reagan Ballistic Missile Test Site Raytheon 25 Feb 2019 -- RGNext, a joint venture between Raytheon's (NYSE: RTN) Intelligence, Information and Services business and General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), will operate the U.S. Army's Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, safely managing space vehicle and ballistic missile launches and missile defense tests conducted from islands in the 750,000-square-mile Pacific Ocean range.
- Taiwan's national defense industry to create 8,000 jobs: president CNA 25 Feb 2019 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) estimated Monday that Taiwan's national defense industry, boosted by the government's program to build naval ships at home, could create at least 8,000 "high-quality" jobs.
- 25 February 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 25 Feb 2019
- UN, ICRC Address Sexual, Gender-Based Violence in Conflict Situations VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- Heads of the United Nations and the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement are pledging more action to prevent and end sexual and gender-based violence during conflicts. In Geneva, two humanitarian groups announced they have launched an effort to end the use of rape as a weapon of war.
- Joint UN-Red Cross appeal to end rising sexual violence as a weapon of war UN News 25 Feb 2019 -- Sexual violence in conflict - and the stigma that survivors often face - must be addressed urgently, UN chief António Guterres said on Monday, in a joint appeal for more funding and international action, together with the head of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer.
- Yemeni Prime Minister Blames Houthis for Attacks in Violation of Peace Treaty Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalek Saeed has accused the country's rebel Houthi movement of violating the peace treaty by carrying out heavy weapon attacks in regions located far from the front line.
- Fears Last Islamic State Hold-Out Hiding Untold Numbers of Militants, Civilians VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- Hundreds of women and children boarded trucks and evacuated the final piece of land still held by Islamic State Monday, prolonging the more than week-long exodus and delaying the U.S.-led coalition's final assault on the last shred of the terror group's self-declared caliphate.
- Iran to help rebuild Syria, restore stability to country: Rouhani Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic is ready to help Syria with its reconstruction plans and restore stability to the war-ravaged country.
- Iran proud of supporting Syria: Ayatollah Khamenei Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Islamic Republic is honored to support Syria and considers it as equal to supporting the entire resistance front.
- Syria's Assad Visits Iran, Meets Khamenei RFE/RL 25 Feb 2019 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited Iran for talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rohani -- the first time the Syrian leader has traveled anywhere other than Russia since the civil war erupted in his country nearly eight years ago.
- Cavusoglu: Turkey Coordinates With Russia, US Details of Future Syrian Safe Zone Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- Turkey continues to coordinate with Russia, the United States and Iran the details of the prospective safe zone on the border with Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Sputnik.
- U.S.-Backed Syrian Defense Force Hands Over 280 IS Fighters To Iraq RFE/RL 25 Feb 2019 -- The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have so far handed over 280 captured Islamic State (IS) insurgents to the government of Iraq, officials in Baghdad said on February 24.
- The Foreign Secretary's call with Indian and Pakistan Foreign Ministers UK FCO 25 Feb 2019 -- On 25 February, the Foreign Secretary had calls with Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj and the Pakistani Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
- India troops, militants engage in fatal gunfight in Kashmir amid escalated tensions Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Five people have been killed in another shootout between Indian troops and suspected militants in Kashmir as New Delhi steps up its crackdown and arrest campaign in the disputed region in the aftermath of a recent deadly bomb attack on its military forces.
- Pakistan to fence border after terrorist attack in Iran: Army Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Pakistan has promised to boost security cooperation with Iran, saying that the two neighboring countries are considering fencing the common border to keep terrorists in check.
- Darfur peace process at a 'standstill' as demonstrations against Sudanese Government continue UN News 25 Feb 2019 -- Sudan's President Omar Bashir may have declared a country-wide "cessation of hostilities" but in the face of continuing nationwide protests against his rule, the peace process in Darfur has "once again" come to a standstill, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Monday.
- Rebels: Government Forces Provoked Fighting in Yei River State VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the leader of the National Salvation Front (NAS), said the international community should blame the South Sudan government for the fighting in Yei River State.
- Al-Shabab Attack Claims 9 Lives in Somalia VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- Somali officials say al-Shabab militants shot dead nine civilians in a suburb of Mogadishu Monday.
- Lima Group: There Are 'Serious and Credible' Threats on Guaido's Life VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- The Lima Group said Monday it has "serious and credible threats" against the life of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guiado.
- Remarks by Vice President Pence to the Lima Group | Bogota, Colombia The White House 25 Feb 2019
- Pence: US With Guiado '100 Percent' VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- The Trump administration stands with the U.S.-recognized interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, "100 percent," Vice President Mike Pence said Monday as he announced new financial assistance for the Venezuelan people.
- The United States Sanctions Governors of Venezuelan States Aligned With Maduro US Dept. of State 25 Feb 2019 -- "Today, the United States took action against four governors aligned with the illegitimate Maduro regime who prevented desperately needed international humanitarian assistance from entering Venezuela and/or engaged in corruption to the detriment of the Venezuelan people, in some cases involving human rights violations."
- United States Provides Additional Humanitarian Aid to Venezuelans Who Have Fled Their Country US Dept. of State 25 Feb 2019 -- "Today, Vice President Pence announced that the United States is providing nearly $56 million in additional humanitarian assistance to support the regional response for the nearly 3.4 million Venezuelans who have fled Venezuela due to the political and economic crisis caused by Nicolas Maduro. This "
- Treasury Sanctions Governors of Venezuelan States Aligned with Maduro US Treasury 25 Feb 2019 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated four officials aligned with the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro. This action, taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13692, targets the Governors of four Venezuelan states involved in endemic corruption and in blocking the delivery of critical humanitarian aid, thereby exacerbating the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the illegitimate Maduro regime.
- US increases sanctions on Venezuela to pressure Maduro Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- The United States has imposed sanctions on four state governors in Venezuela as Washington tries to increases pressure on President Nicholas Maduro for blocking aid convoys.
- EU rejects military intervention in Venezuela, calls for peaceful solution Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- The European Union has rejected use of force and military intervention in Venezuela, calling for a peaceful resolution to the political crisis, favored by Washington, in the Latin American country.
- US VP Pence to announce 'concrete steps' for Venezuela crisis: Official Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- US Vice President Mike Pence is set to announce "concrete steps" and "clear actions" to address the Venezuela crisis, as foreign intervention has pushed the Latin American nation into political chaos and economic collapse.
- Brazil Won't Allow US to Use Its Territory to Invade Venezuela - Reports Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- Brazil will not allow the United States to intervene military in Venezuela from its territory, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao said Monday in an interview with Globo News Broadcaster, cited by Reuters.
- Brazilian Military Widens Security Cordon on Venezuelan Border to Lower Tensions Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- The Brazilian National Public Security Force has expanded the security cordon in the border area with Venezuela to alleviate tensions following recent clashes, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene on 25 February.
- Exclusive: Daughter Of Putin's Spokesman Working In European Parliament RFE/RL 25 Feb 2019 -- The daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman works as an intern in the European Parliament in Brussels, and has unhindered access to various EU documents, RFE/RL has learned.
- Backgrounder: Major interactions between U.S., DPRK in past two years People's Daily 25 Feb 2019 -- After their historic first meeting in Singapore in June last year, U.S. President Donald Trump and top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un are scheduled to meet in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam on Feb. 27-28.
- North Korea remains nuclear threat: Pompeo Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that North Korea remains a nuclear threat, contradicting President Donald Trump's past comments about Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
- Trump 'happy' as long as N Korea does not test weapons Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has said he would be happy as long as North Korea does not test weapons.
- DPRK leader leaves Pyongyang for Hanoi for second DPRK-U.S. summit People's Daily 25 Feb 2019 -- Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), left here Saturday afternoon by train for Vietnamese capital Hanoi for the second DPRK-U.S. summit, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.
- Iran's first ever radio telescope unveiled IRNA 25 Feb 2019 -- After years of endless efforts, Iranian researchers and scientists were quite successful to design and produce the first ever home-made radio telescope to serve the country's physicians, academicians and university students, Head of Iran's Space Research Center Omid Shokofa said on Monday.
- Zafar, Pars 1 satellites to be launched next Iranian year IRNA 25 Feb 2019 -- Iran's next year (starting in March 21) will have Zafar and Pars 1 satellites and several other satellites at launching phase.
- Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif announces resignationin in Instagram post Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has unexpectedly announced his resignation in an Instagram post.
- Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif Resigns RFE/RL 25 Feb 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has announced his resignation on his Instagram page.
- Iranian FM Zarif Announces His Resignation Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced his resignation Monday, Reuters reported, citing Zarif's Instagram.
- IRGC Commander Says Iran Foiled US Attempts to Sabotage Weapons Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said the US failed to sabotage Iran's missile program as Tehran was prepared to prevent such actions.
- Afghanistan Begins Exports to India Through Iranian Port VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- Afghanistan has started shipping goods to India for the first time through a newly developed Iranian seaport in a bid to improve exports and reduce reliance on routes through its uneasy neighbor, Pakistan.
- China, U.S. conclude latest trade talks with substantial progress on specific issues People's Daily 25 Feb 2019 -- China and the United States have achieved substantial progress on specific issues following their latest round of high-level economic and trade talks in Washington, the Chinese delegation said Sunday.
- Official: China Will Step Up Military, Diplomatic Pressure Against Taiwan VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- China will increase military, diplomatic and other kinds of pressure against proudly self-ruled Taiwan to deliver on President Xi Jinping's demand in January that the two sides unify, a China policy maker in Taipei told VOA Monday.
- Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Arrives in Riyadh Coming from Egypt SPA 25 Feb 2019 -- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrived here today after paying a state visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt in response to an invitation of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during which the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques led the Kingdom's delegation to Arab-EU Summit.
- Kazah President Appoints New Prime Minister RFE/RL 25 Feb 2019 -- Kazakhstan's president has appointed Asqar Mamin as Central Asian nation's new prime minister, days after the government was abruptly sacked.
- Concerns Persist About Myanmar Speech Freedoms VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- In the busy streets of Yangon, access to communication appears to be expanding as mobile phone users can be spotted making calls, sending messages and reading news stories from the Internet.
- Ex-Ukrainian Armed Forces Chief Of Staff Detained For High Treason RFE/RL 25 Feb 2019 -- The former chief of staff for Ukraine's armed forces has been detained on charges of high treason.
- Pakistan Court Rejects Ex-Prime Minister Sharif's Bail Plea RFE/RL 25 Feb 2019 -- A Pakistani court has rejected the bail plea from former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently serving a seven-year jail term for corruption, his party says.
- Sudanese police use tear gas against protesters defying emergency state Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Police forces in Sudan have fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters in the capital Khartoum as demonstrators challenge a state of emergency declared by President Omar al-Bashir, eyewitnesses say.
- US Expresses 'Deep Concern' Over Sudan State of Emergency VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- The United States has expressed its "deep concern" about Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's declaration of a one-year nationwide state of emergency amid growing anti-government protests.
- Election-related violence kills dozens of Nigerians: Observers Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Dozens of people have been killed in a wave of violence related to presidential and parliamentary elections in Nigeria, civil society groups monitoring the vote say, as the country is awaiting the results.
- Nigeria's Buhari Takes Election Lead; Opposition Rejects Results VOA 25 Feb 2019 -- Early results from Nigeria's presidential election show incumbent Muhammahu Buhari in the lead, but the main opposition party is rejecting the vote counts, calling them "incorrect and unacceptable."
- Senegal president's camp claims re-election, opposition objects Press TV 25 Feb 2019 -- Senegal's prime minister has claimed that President Macky Sall was re-elected in a first round vote on Sunday, hours after the opposition suggested that no candidate had won an outright majority.
- UK Must 'Rapidly' Cede Control of Chagos Islands - UN Court Sputnik 25 Feb 2019 -- In a landmark ruling, the International Court of Justice had ruled "the UK has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos archipelago as rapidly as possible, and all member states must cooperate with the United Nations to complete the decolonization of Mauritius".
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