16 April 2019 Military News
- UN Security Council condemns Taliban offensive as a blow against 'sustainable peace' UN News 16 Apr 2019 -- The United Nations Security Council has condemned the announcement by Taliban militants in Afghanistan of its spring offensive, saying it will result in more "unnecessary suffering and destruction for the Afghan people".
- UN Security Council denounces Taliban's spring offensive Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- The United Nations Security Council has denounced the Taliban's launch of a spring offensive in Afghanistan, urging all parties to instead "seize the opportunity" to reach a political settlement.
- Afghan Opposition Politicians To Boycott Peace Loya Jirga RFE/RL 16 Apr 2019 -- Several Afghan opposition politicians say they will boycott a planned meeting of nearly 2,500 Afghan politicians and tribal, ethnic, and religious leaders aimed at reaching national consensus on future peace talks with the Taliban.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Meeting with Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar DoD 16 Apr 2019
- USS Fitzgerald Leaves Dry Dock, Continues Repairs Pierside in Pascagoula NNS 16 Apr 2019 -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) took another step toward returning to the fleet as a fully ready, combat-capable ship. The ship achieved a milestone in its complex repair and restoration as it successfully launched and moored pier-side at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) - Ingalls Shipbuilding shipyard, April 16.
- CSG 8 Receives MUC for 2015-2016 Deployment NNS 16 Apr 2019 -- Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG-8) received the Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) award, March 11, for its 2015-2016 deployment, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
- 2019 BTF comes to an end US Air Force 16 Apr 2019 -- More than 450 personnel and six B-52 Stratofortresses from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, returned home following a short-term deployment to RAF Fairford in support of U.S. Strategic Command's Bomber Task Force in Europe, April 11.
- Hill AFB Airmen deploy F-35A to support coalition forces US Air Force 16 Apr 2019 -- Airmen from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, to support the Air Force Central Command mission in the Middle East. The aircraft arrived in country on April 15.
- US Air Force Deploys First F-35A Lightning II Fighters to Middle East Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- The US Air Force announced Monday its first-ever deployment of F-35A joint strike fighter aircraft to the Middle East. Two squadrons of the stealthy multi-role jet are headed for Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
- John C. Stennis, Charles de Gaulle Conduct Maritime Exercise in Red Sea NNS 16 Apr 2019 -- Maritime forces from France's Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group and the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group participated in a naval passing exercise (PASSEX) in the Red Sea, April 15.
- U.S., Indian Navies Practice Submarine Hunting in Indian Ocean NNS 16 Apr 2019 -- P-8 aircraft from the U.S. and Indian navies conducted cooperative activities in the Indian Ocean, April 15.
- U.S., Japan Maritime Forces Conduct Replenishment-at-Sea NNS 16 Apr 2019 -- The fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Suzutsuki (DD 117) conducted a cooperative deployment focused on replenishment-at-sea training Apr. 16.
- Marine Corps plans to replace LAV with new, 'transformational' ARV USMC News 16 Apr 2019 -- The Marine Corps plans to begin replacing its legacy Light Armored Vehicle with modern Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle late in the next decade.
- UK Sends Attack Choppers to Russian Border to Deter 'Credible Russian Threat' Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- The UK has maintained a presence at a base in the Baltic nation of Estonia some 100 km from the Russian border since April 2017, and is set to lead a series of NATO drills in the country, known as 'Baltic Protector', next month.
- Tsai thanks Trump administration for arms package CNA 16 Apr 2019 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) thanked the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump Tuesday for announcing a new arms sales package for Taiwan, saying that it shows U.S. commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act and ensures cross- Taiwan Strait peace and regional security.
- Taiwan-U.S. strategic alliances solid: MND CNA 16 Apr 2019 -- Taiwan and the United States have solid strategic alliances that will grow closer with the continuation of bilateral cooperation, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Tuesday, following the U.S.' approval the previous day of the continuation of a military pilot training program for Taiwan.
- Pentagon Approves $500Mln to Train Taiwanese F-16 Fighter Pilots Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- The US Department of State has approved a half a billion dollar possible sale of F-16 pilot training, spare parts and supply equipment to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a press release.
- Revised PLA rules to enhance crime prevention in the military Global Times 16 Apr 2019 -- The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has revised its regulations to prevent crimes, including serious violent crimes and those related to firearms, in the military to enhance national security.
- Taiwan to Spend Billions on Bulking Up Island's Defenses Amid China Tensions Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- Taiwan's military budget is expected to increase to more than $13.1 billion by 2027, as the self-ruled island attempts to boost its defense capabilities against Beijing.
- Indian Navy Helicopter Crashed After Technical Failure, All Crew Members Safe Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- The Indian Navy confirmed that all crew members were safe, adding that it has launched an inquiry to investigate the cause of the crash.
- India Looking to 'Explore New Avenues of Defence Cooperation' with Thailand Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- India has had a defence cooperation agreement with Thailand in place since 2012, and New Delhi is now looking to broader the scope of their military cooperation.
- India, US Conduct Anti-Submarine Drills Using New Secure Link for P-8 Aircraft Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- After signing the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) last September, India and the US implemented the deal with their first ever secure communication link set up earlier this month. Prior to COMCASA, the US had to deploy temporary systems with Indian units during joint exercises so the two sides could communicate.
- Domestically-built bombers to take part in Iran's Army Day parade: Cmdr. Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- The deputy commander of the Iranian Army's Air Force says domestically-built Kowsar and Saeqeh bombers will for the first time take part in an annual military parade, which marks the National Army Day.
- Iranian Air Force to Debut New Homegrown Fighter Jet in Massive Parade – Reports Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- The country will celebrate Army Day on Thursday, marking the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Islamic Republic's Armed Forces in 1979 following the Iranian Revolution.
- Turkey Ready to Adjust S-400 Parameters If US Proves They're 'Threat' Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- Turkey may adjust technical parameters of the S-400 air defence systems bought from Russia if the United States proves alleged risks that the complexes pose to the US military facilities, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Tuesday.
- Yemeni army unveils new domestically-built Badr-F ballistic missile Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- The Yemeni army has unveiled a domestically designed and manufactured Badr-F ballistic missile intended to rain shrapnel over a vast area upon explosion in mid air to ensure maximum lethality against designated targets, amid Saudi Arabia's atrocious aerial bombardment campaign against impoverished Yemen.
- Iraqi Air Force Flies First Ever F-16 Combat Sortie Alongside Coalition Aircraft Sputnik 18 Apr 2019 -- An Iraqi pilot flew an F-16 fighter jet in the nation's first combat sortie in a defensive mission above the Iraqi-Syrian border this week alongside other coalition aircraft, US Central Command's (CENTCOM) Operation Inherent Resolve disclosed in a press release on Wednesday.
- 16 April 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 16 Apr 2019
- Israel Used 'S-300-Evading' Missile for First Time in Syria Strikes - Reports Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- Israel reportedly carried out airstrikes against an alleged 'Iran-linked' 'missile factory' in Syria's Hama province in the early hours of Saturday, with Syrian air defence troops saying they intercepted some of the missiles, which were launched from Lebanese airspace to try to thwart an effective air defence.
- UN's Libya envoy: Haftar's actions looked like coup Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- The United Nations (UN)'s envoy to Libya says self-styled commander Khalifa Haftar attempted a "coup" by issuing an arrest warrant against Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and other officials in the country's internationally-recognized government.
- Libyan GNA Troops Able to Drive Haftar Army Out From Tripoli - Deputy PM Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- The troops of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) are able to protect Tripoli and drive advancing forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar out from the capital, Ahmed Maiteeq, the deputy prime minister of the GNA, said on Tuesday.
- Pakistani Forces Kill Five Terrorists in Peshawar VOA 16 Apr 2019 -- Officials in Pakistan announced Tuesday counterterrorism forces have killed five militants in a 17 hour long gun battle in an upscale locality in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
- Indian Military Thwarting 'Daily' Pakistani Attempts to Breach Border – Reports Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- Tensions between the two Asian rivals remain high after a series of back-and-forth skirmishes which followed an Indian Air Force raid into Pakistani territory targeting al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists who claimed responsibility for a deadly car bombing attack in the India-controlled region of Kashmir.
- Trump Slams Democrats, 'Dirty Cops' Ahead of Mueller Report Release VOA 16 Apr 2019 -- The U.S. Justice Department will release on Thursday a redacted version of the nearly 400-page report of special counsel Robert Mueller on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election aimed at helping Donald Trump win the presidency.
- UN Chief Appoints Adviser to Help AU Mediation in Sudan VOA 16 Apr 2019 -- The U.N. secretary-general has appointed special adviser Nicholas Haysom to support the African Union's mediation efforts in Sudan, where the military ousted longtime President Omar al-Bashir last week.
- Russian deputy foreign minister says Moscow recognizes new Sudan authorities Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- Russia's deputy foreign minister has said Moscow recognizes the new Sudanese authorities in Khartoum amid political uncertainty in a country whose president, Omar al-Bashir, was toppled by the military after 30 years in power.
- 'Sudan's forces to remain in Yemen' despite Bashir ouster Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- Sudan's junta says the Sudanese troops taking part in the Saudi-led war on Yemen will continue fighting on behalf of Saudi Arabia despite a coup that has partially changed the power structure in the African country.
- African Union Threatens to Suspend Sudan After Coup Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) has threatened to suspend Sudan in the wake of last week's coup, calling on the military to hand over power to a transitional civilian-led political authority.
- Venezuela Sells $400 Mln in Gold, 'Skirts US Economic Blockade' – Report Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- The developments come after Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source in February, that Venezuela plans to sell 15 tonnes of its Central Bank gold reserves to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for euros.
- US, Brazil, Colombia Mulling Military Options Against Venezuela - Vice President Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- Earlier, at a private roundtable hosted on 10 April by the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, military intervention options against Venezuela were discussed, The Gray Zone reported on Sunday.
- Pentagon Mulling New Venezuela Options to Deter Russia, China & Cuba – Report Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry slammed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent allegations related to Moscow's "intervention in Venezuela" as unacceptable. China, in turn, berated Pompeo for his claims that Beijing's friendship with Latin American countries is "pretended".
- Russian Duma Approves Sovereign-Internet Bill RFE/RL 16 Apr 2019 -- The lower chamber of Russia's parliament has passed a controversial bill that critics say is part of efforts by President Vladimir Putin to expand government control over the Internet.
- Facebook, Twitter Given Nine Months To Store Russian Users' Data In Country RFE/RL 16 Apr 2019 -- Russia's communications watchdog has given social media companies Twitter and Facebook nine months to move Russian users' data onto servers in Russia, the Interfax news agency reports.
- Russia's Gazprom Resumes Buying Turkmen Gas After Three-Year Halt RFE/RL 16 Apr 2019 -- Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom says it has resumed imports of natural gas from Turkmenistan that it stopped three years ago.
- Assange aimed to harm US: Prosecutors Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- US federal prosecutors have accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of disseminating secret documents with the intent of doing harm to the United States.
- Norwegian Jailed By Russia For 14 Years For Spying RFE/RL 16 Apr 2019 -- A Russian court has convicted a Norwegian man of espionage and sentenced him to 14 years in a high-security prison.
- Moscow Court Sentences Norway's Berg to 14 Years in Jail for Espionage Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- A Moscow court has found Norwegian national Frode Berg guilty of espionage and sentenced him to 14 years in a high-security jail, a Sputnik correspondent reported Tuesday from the courtroom.
- Trump and Pompeo disregard Kim's deadline for nuclear talks flexibility Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo have disregarded comments made earlier by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un which urged Washington to change its sanctions-based policy by an end-year deadline.
- Kim Set to Meet Putin, With Trump on Both Men's Minds VOA 16 Apr 2019 -- Since emerging from his international isolation just over a year ago, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been a busy man.
- Experts Warn IRGC Terror Designation Could Inflame US-Iran Tensions VOA 16 Apr 2019 -- The recent U.S. designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization could increase tensions between the United States and Iran in the Middle East, where both countries have a strong military presence, some experts warn.
- Iran Ratifies Bill Designating US CENTCOM as Terrorist Group - Reports Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- According to the Iranian Mehr news agency, 204 out of the 256 Iranian parliament members present voted in favour of the bill.
- IRGC blacklisting due to US defeat in region: Statement IRNA 16 Apr 2019 -- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps says the US move to blacklist the IRGC as a terrorist organization is the result of debacles Washington has faced in the region.
- Iran's parliament passes generalities of retaliation bill against US ISNA 16 Apr 2019 -- Iran's Parliament representatives approved the generalities of the retaliation bill against US.
- France committed to JCPOA: Paris ISNA 16 Apr 2019 -- Elysee confirmed its commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a day after Iran summoned French ambassador to Tehran following a French diplomat's tweets.
- Iran MPs adopt countermeasure against US blacklisting of IRGC Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- The Iranian Parliament (Majlis) has overwhelmingly approved the general outlines of a motion devised by the legislature to counter the United States' blacklisting of the Islamic Republic's elite defense forces.
- Trump's decisions on Golan, IRGC aim to serve Israel interests: Iran FM Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says US recognition of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel and its designation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a "terrorist" organization show that Washington's policies are based on serving Israel's interests.
- Enraged by serial defeats in region, US targeted IRGC: Top cmdr. Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- The chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the United States has blacklisted the elite defense force out of the "vengeance and outrage" resulting from Washington's back-to-back defeats in the region.
- Syria's Assad denounces US for blacklisting Iran's IRGC Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has censured the US for blacklisting Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), which has been greatly contributing to his country's fight against terrorists.
- US blacklisting rooted in IRGC's regional victories: Senior Iranian official Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- A senior Iranian official says the US's decision to blacklist Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is rooted in Washington's dissatisfaction with the elite military force's numerous victories against terrorists in regional countries.
- Iraqis To The Rescue? Iranians Wary Of Paramilitary Forces Sent For 'Flood Relief' Efforts RFE/RL 16 Apr 2019 -- Many Iranians are upset by the presence of Iraqi paramilitary forces sent to help with flood relief efforts as they try to cope with a natural disaster called the worst to hit Iran in more than 15 years.
- Ambassador tells truth of Xinjiang Global Times 16 Apr 2019 -- Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao (Zhang) recently sat for a group interview with mainstream media in Kazakhstan, where he reiterated that recent reports in the West on the vocational education and training centers in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region were groundless.
- China to send probes to Mars and Jupiter Global Times 16 Apr 2019 -- China's deep space exploration will go beyond the moon and Mars to reach Jupiter in the future, according to Ye Peijian, the country's leading aerospace expert and chief consultant to China's lunar and Mars probes.
- Chinese military intimidation only boosts Taiwan's resolve: Tsai CNA 16 Apr 2019 -- Taiwan is not being intimidated by Chinese military coercion, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday, stressing that China's actions are only strengthening the country's resolution to defend itself.
- Beijing's refusal to renounce use of force destabilizing: Ryan CNA 16 Apr 2019 -- Former U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan criticized China on Tuesday for changing the cross-Taiwan Strait status quo with its military intimidation and described Beijing's refusal to renounce the use of force against Taiwan as the most destabilizing element of cross-strait relations.
- Visitors with Beijing propaganda agenda not welcome in Taiwan: MAC CNA 16 Apr 2019 -- Chinese or any other foreign nationals who intend to visit Taiwan to engage in pro-Beijing propaganda or activities that undermine Taiwan's sovereignty will not be welcome in the country, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) warned Tuesday.
- Likud Party Loses One Seat After Recount, But Netanyahu Still to Form Gov't Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- The results show that Netanyahu's Likud Party won 35 seats. At the same time, Kahol Lavan, the party led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, gained a similar number of seats in the parliament.
- Netanyahu Passes Threshold for Nomination as Israel's Premier VOA 16 Apr 2019 -- Israel's president said on Tuesday a majority of members of parliament had advised him to have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu form a government after the April 9 election, effectively ensuring his nomination.
- 4 Indian Political Leaders Face Temporary Campaign Bans VOA 16 Apr 2019 -- In an increasingly acrimonious election campaign in India, two top leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and two from the opposition have been temporarily banned from campaigning for making divisive speeches playing to religious bases. The bans, imposed by the country's election watchdog, come amid growing concerns that inflammatory rhetoric and hate speech is fanning religious polarization as India holds its mammoth general election.
- Zarif, Assad discuss issues of mutual interest IRNA 16 Apr 2019 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif discussed issues of mutual interest with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Tuesday.
- Regional policy coordination goal of Syria visit: Zarif IRNA 16 Apr 2019 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Tuesday that his visit to Damascus aims to coordinate regional policies and planning to advance Syrian talks for political solution after gaining victories on the ground.
- Lebanese FM demands restoration of Syria's Arab League membership Press TV 16 Apr 2019 -- Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has called for restoring Syria's membership in the Arab League, amid growing Arab overtures towards the Damascus government now that the country seems to be on the verge of full victory against foreign-backed terrorists.
- Iran's Zarif In Damascus Ahead Of Syria Talks RFE/RL 16 Apr 2019 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has visited Damascus ahead of a new round of talks next week in Kazakhstan toward ending Syria's eight-year war.
- Turkish Ruling Party Files Appeal Against Istanbul Election Results – Reports Sputnik 16 Apr 2019 -- Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) filed on Tuesday an appeal with the Supreme Election Council against the results of the recent mayoral election in the country's biggest city of Istanbul, the Anadolu news agency reported.
- Poroshenko Team Says Agreement Reached For Presidential Election Debate RFE/RL 16 Apr 2019 -- Advisers to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and election challenger Volodymyr Zelenskiy have agreed that the candidates will meet in a debate on April 19 at Kyiv's Olimpiyskiy Stadium, a spokesman for the incumbent leader says.
- Nicaragua crisis: One year in, more than 60,000 have fled, seeking refuge UN News 16 Apr 2019 -- Doctors, journalists, students and farmers are among more than 60,000 Nicaraguans who have fled the country in fear of their lives since anti-Government demonstrations began last April, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, said on Tuesday.
- Indonesia Readies for Presidential Vote VOA 16 Apr 2019 -- Indonesia has entered the final stage of a three-day cooling down period before Wednesday's national election, with officials removing political billboards across the archipelago amid a ban on election broadcasts after months of rowdy campaigning.
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