21 May 2019 Military News
- Islamic State in Afghanistan Growing Bigger, More Dangerous VOA 21 May 2019 -- The collapse of the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq is doing little to slow down the terror group's branch in Afghanistan.
- 5,000 Daesh terrorists amassed in Afghanistan: Russia Press TV 21 May 2019 -- Russia's top intelligence official has warned that thousands of militants belonging to a Daesh affiliate and with battle experience in Syria have converged in areas in northern Afghanistan bordering post-Soviet Central Asian republics.
- Russian FSB Chief Warns Of IS Threat From Afghanistan RFE/RL 21 May 2019 -- The head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says that militants from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) have been amassing in northern Afghanistan, near its borders with former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
Defense Policy / Programs
- US: Military Actions 'Put on Hold' Potential Iranian Attacks on Americans VOA 21 May 2019 -- Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan said the steps taken to bolster the U.S. military presence in the Middle East have deterred Iran and "put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," even as Iran carried out other attacks.
- Classified Iran Briefings Fail to Unite US Lawmakers on Threats, Response VOA 21 May 2019 -- U.S. lawmakers expressed sharply diverging opinions on the threat level posed by Iran after classified briefings President Donald Trump's national security team presented to all House and Senate members Tuesday.
- Pentagon Chief Says Iranian Threats 'Put On Hold' RFE/RL 21 May 2019 -- The United States' response to alleged Iranian threats has "put on hold" potential attacks by Iran, acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has said.
- Pentagon Chief Claims US Has Put Iranian "Threat" on Hold With Its Actions Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- The US recently increased its military presence in the Middle East, sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf and reportedly deploying a regiment of B-52 bombers to the region amid growing tensions between Washington and Tehran.
- Army on track to meet FY19 recruitment goals, add more women to combat arms Army News 21 May 2019 -- The Army is on the path to meet its fiscal year 2019 recruiting mission: to bring 68,000 Soldiers into the active component, 15,600 into the Army Reserve, and 39,000 into the National Guard, said the Army's G-1.
- Army Futures leveraging mission command for effective Soldier, robot teams Army News 21 May 2019 -- Army Futures Command is developing new mission command concepts that will enable Soldiers and robots to operate as effective teams in the future.
- Remarks by Acting Secretary Shanahan at an Enhanced Honor Cordon in Honor of the Presidents of the Freely Associated States of Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands DoD 21 May 2019 -- Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan
- Readout from Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Office Call with Presidents of Palau, Marshall Islands, and Federated States of Micronesia DoD 21 May 2019
- Remarks by Acting Secretary Shanahan in a Media Availability Prior to an Honor Cordon Ceremony Welcoming the presidents of the Freely Associated States of Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands to the Pentagon DoD 21 May 2019 -- Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan
- U.S.-Colombian Maritime Staff Talks Conclude at Castillo de San Marcos NNS 21 May 2019 -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Sean Buck, hosted the Colombian Commander of Naval Operations, Vice Adm. Gabriel Perez and other senior Colombian naval officers to conduct Maritime Staff Talks (MST) at the Florida National Guard headquarters in St. Augustine, May 15-17.
- Osprey Aviation Tilts from Green to Blue NNS 21 May 2019 -- Since 1963, the Navy has used the C-2A Greyhound, known as the carrier onboard delivery (COD), for transportation of personnel and cargo from shore to at-sea aircraft carriers. But the aircraft's inactive production line and other limitations had the Navy looking for a more versatile option.
- USS Spruance, USS Stockdale Return from Deployment NNS 21 May 2019 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Stockdale (DDG 106), including detachments from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 "Raptors," returned to their homeport of San Diego May 20, following a deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet areas of operations as part of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group.
- Michigan Returns to the PACNORWEST After 30 Months NNS 21 May 2019 -- The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) returned home to the Pacific Northwest May 13, after being forward-deployed for 30-months in the Western Pacific.
- NMCB 133 Completes MOC in Gabon NNS 21 May 2019 -- Seabees assigned to U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 turned over a newly constructed maritime operations center (MOC) to the Gabonese navy at a ribbon cutting ceremony May 3.
- US Plans to Have 355 Battle Force Ships in About 10 Years - Vice President Pence Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- The United States Navy is planning to add 60 more battle force ships to its fleet, bringing the total to 355 ships in slightly more than a decade thanks to the largest shipbuilding request in 20 years, US Vice President Mike Pence said.
- US Marine Corps Jet Crashes in North Carolina - Statement Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- A US Marine Corps Harrier ground-attack aircraft has crashed in North Carolina, according to a statement from the nation's military, adding that the pilot ejected safely.
- US Jets Intercept Russian Bombers During Scheduled Flight Along Alaska - NORAD Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- Four US Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers and two Su-35s as they carried out sorties in international airspace off the coast of Alaska earlier this week, the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) said in a statement on Tuesday.
- US Fighters Escort Russian Strategic Bombers Over Alaska - Russian MoD Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- American reconnaissance drones routinely fly along Russia's borders, mostly in the west and in south-west, as well as along the Syrian coast, where Russian military bases are located. Such flights have become quite regular since relations between the US and Russia became strained in 2014.
- Russian Military, Techmash Agree on Rocket Supply for Tornado Launchers Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- Russian Defence Ministry and ammunition manufacturer Techmash signed a long-term contract on the supply of rockets for Tornado S rocket launchers until 2027, Deputy CEO of Russia's Techmash ammunition manufacturer Aleksander Kochkin told Sputnik.
- Taiwan conducts humanitarian rescue drill near Taiping Island CNA 21 May 2019 -- The Taiwan government plans to cooperate with countries close to Taiping Island in the South China Sea on humanitarian assistance and rescue, Coast Guard Administration (CGA) Director-General Chen Kuo-en (陳國恩) disclosed Tuesday, during a multi-agency humanitarian rescue drill off the coast of the Taiwan-administered island.
- UK Royal Navy Leads Its LARGEST Task Force in Europe in Decades Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- The British Defence Ministry said last month that the multinational war games, dubbed Baltic Protector, underlined the "importance of protecting Europe at a time of increased threat" amid ongoing tensions with Russia.
- Shangri-La Dialogue attendance regardless of whether meeting with US Global Times 21 May 2019 -- The Chinese defense minister will speak at an annual international defense forum in Singapore, marking the first time in eight years for China to send a defense minister to the forum at the end of this month.
- Indian Air Defences Mistakenly Downed Own Military Helicopter - Reports Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- On 27 February, the daily newspaper Kashmir Vision reported that a combat Mi-17 V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force crashed in the Budgam area in the state Jammu and Kashmir.
- China delivers first overhauled JF-17 fighter jet to Pakistan: report Global Times 21 May 2019 -- The close cooperation between China and Pakistan was highlighted by the recent delivery of the first overhauled JF-17 fighter jet under a project that experts said on Tuesday will benefit Pakistan's aviation industry.
- Bulgarian Defence Minister Calls Price of US F-16 Fighters Unreasonably High Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- Bulgaria is likely to halt negotiations with the US for the purchase of Lockheed Martin's F-16 Block 70 fighter jets, according to Bulgaria's defence minister, instead, turning to Sweden or Italy for new combat aircraft.
- Remarks at a Press Availability US Dept. of State 21 May 2019 -- Remarks by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan
- 21 May 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 21 May 2019
- UN highlights need to solve growing burden of forcibly displaced Africans UN News 21 May 2019 -- With 24.2 million Africans forced from their homes in 2017 ̶ 4.6 million more than the previous year ̶ the UN is hosting a three-day event at UN headquarters, focusing on finding durable solutions to the problem, which is a growing burden on the continent's economy, environment and communities which host those displaced.
- Pompeo Claims 'Quite Possible' Iran Was Behind Latest Attacks on UAE Ships Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was possible that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was responsible for recent attacks on shipping vessels in the Persian Gulf and on Saudi oil pipelines.
- Yemenis launch retaliatory drone attack on Saudi arms deport at Najran airport Press TV 21 May 2019 -- Yemeni armed forces, led by the Houthi Ansarullah movement, have launched a drone strike on an arms depot at an airport in Saudi Arabia's southern Najran region in retaliation for the kingdom's bloody military aggression against the impoverished country.
- Houthi Drone Targets Civilian Facility in Saudi Province of Najran - Report Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- On Sunday media reported that the Yemeni Shia Houthi rebels were going to attack some 300 critical infrastructure facilities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- Houthis Target Saudi Arms Depot VOA 21 May 2019 -- Yemen's Houthi rebels said Tuesday they attacked an arms depot in the southern Saudi city of Najran.
- Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons by the Assad Regime in Northwest Syria US Dept. of State 21 May 2019 -- The United States continues to closely watch the military operations by the Assad regime in northwest Syria, including indications of any new use of chemical weapons by the regime.
- Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in 'secret detention facilities', UN human rights office warns UN News 21 May 2019 -- In Syria, it is suspected that children whose fathers fought for terrorist group ISIL are being held in unidentified "settlements" and "secret detention facilities" away from their mothers, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday.
- US: Syria May Be Using Chemical Weapons Again VOA 21 May 2019 -- The United States says there are signs the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria may be using chemical weapons again and it is warning the Syrians to stop it.
- Civilian Casualties Mount as Fighting in Syria's Idlib Province Intensifies VOA 21 May 2019 -- The U.N. human rights office warns civilian casualties are growing in northwestern Syria's Idlib province as fighting between Russian-backed Syrian government forces and rebels allied with al-Qaida escalates.
- Militants Violate Ceasefire in 2 Syrian Provinces in Past 24 Hours - Russian MoD Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- Militants have violated the ceasefire in the Syrian provinces of Hama and Latakia over the past 24 hours, the head of the Russian Defence Ministry's Centre for Syrian Reconciliation, Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, said on Monday.
- Iraq needs support to 'leave violent past behind', says UN envoy as Security Council extends UN mission for one year UN News 21 May 2019 -- Iraq's democratic transition – weighed down by political infighting, weak institutions, corruption, and the constant threat of ISIL – needs more international support, "lots of time and lots of hard work," the top United Nations official in the country said on Tuesday.
- UN warns of 'long and bloody war' in Libya amid offensive by Saudi-backed Haftar Press TV 21 May 2019 -- The United Nations special envoy for Libya has warned that the battle for Tripoli is "just the start of a long and bloody war," as militants loyal to Saudi-backed renegade general Khalifa Haftar continue an offensive to seize the Libyan capital.
- Libya on verge of civil war, threatening 'permanent division', top UN official warns Security Council UN News 21 May 2019 -- The damage done to Libya will already take "years to mend" but unless fighting around the capital Tripoli stops, the country risks "descending into a civil war which could lead to the permanent division of the country".
- UN Warns Libya is on Verge of Full-Scale Civil War VOA 21 May 2019 -- The top United Nations diplomat for Libya warned Tuesday that the country is on the verge of descending into a full-scale civil war, as a warlord general from the east continues to try to capture the capital from the internationally-recognized government.
- UN Security Council Rejects Russian Request For Ukraine Meeting RFE/RL 21 May 2019 -- The UN Security Council has rejected a Russian request to hold a meeting on a new language law in Ukraine.
- Ex-White House Counsel Defies House Subpoena to Testify on Russia Probe VOA 21 May 2019 -- Former White House Counsel Donald McGahn defied a subpoena Tuesday from the House Judiciary Committee to testify about his conversations with President Donald Trump ordering him to oust special counsel Robert Mueller in the midst of Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
- US Lawmakers Turn Focus to Full Range of Russian Influence Ops VOA 21 May 2019 -- With all the focus on Russian efforts to sway U.S. elections with social media, there are fears other aspects of Moscow's influence operations are being overlooked.
- Maduro proposes elections for dissolved opposition-held body Press TV 21 May 2019 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has proposed that elections be held for the country's National Assembly, an opposition-held legislature that continues to convene despite being dissolved in 2017.
- UN: Majority Fleeing Venezuela Need Refugee Protection VOA 21 May 2019 -- The U.N. refugee agency is calling on nations to accept those who are fleeing Venezuela, saying the majority "are in need of international refugee protection."
- Sudan's military council, opposition vow to reach deal People's Daily 21 May 2019 -- Sudan's ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and an alliance of opposition forces on Tuesday vowed to work together to reach an "urgent agreement" as their negotiation continues.
- Iranian president rules out possibility to talk with US "under current situation" Global Times 21 May 2019 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ruled out the possibility of negotiations with the United States under current circumstances, Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.
- Iran not to bend towards bullying powers: President IRNA 21 May 2019 -- The Iranian nation will resist the pressures, but it will not bend towards bullying powers, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.
- All authorities unanimous about resisting US sanctions: President Rouhani ISNA 21 May 2019 -- Iran's President described the role of the clergy in defending the national interests of the country and the World of Islam remarkable, saying, "The clergy have always had a valuable role in religion, science and culture, as well as guiding people and reducing discords in the society".
- Iran not looking for war but if it is imposed, we will vigorously defend: Takht-Ravanchi ISNA 21 May 2019 -- Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Iran is not looking for war and conflict but if war is imposed on Iran, the country will vigorously defend its nation.
- Iran quadruples production of enriched uranium in Natanz: AEOI spokesman ISNA 21 May 2019 -- Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi announced that the country has quadrupled its production of enriched uranium in Natanz atomic facility.
- Iraq sending teams to Tehran, Washington to 'halt tension' between two sides: Prime Minister Press TV 21 May 2019 -- Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi says his country is set to send delegations to the US and Iran to help "halt tension" between the two sides amid growing concerns over a military conflict as Washington ratchets up its belligerent rhetoric against Tehran and builds up its military presence in the region.
- Iranian nation will not bow to bullies: Rouhani Press TV 21 May 2019 -- President Hassan Rouhani asserts that the Iranian nation may be under pressure, but will not "bow its head in the face of bullies."
- US playing very, very dangerous game by boosting regional military presence: Iran FM Press TV 21 May 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned that the United States is "playing a very, very dangerous game" by beefing up its military presence in the region.
- Iranian President Seeking Wartime Powers To Deal With 'Economic War' RFE/RL 21 May 2019 -- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has said he is seeking expanded, wartime executive powers to deal with an "economic war" being waged against the country by the United States.
- Iraq Seeking To Help Calm Iran-U.S. Tensions RFE/RL 21 May 2019 -- Iraq will send delegations to Washington and Tehran to help "end tension" amid concerns of a possible military conflict between the United States and Iran, the Iraqi prime minister has said.
- Low-Enriched Uranium Production Increase by Iran Doesn't Violate JCPOA - Russia Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- Russia hopes that an escalation around the so-called Iran nuclear deal can be avoided so that Tehran can continue to respect its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday.
- US Military Assets Deployed in Gulf 'Prone to Accident', Iran Warns Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- US President Donald Trump said earlier in the day that there's no indication that Iran is preparing to take action against American interests in the Middle East, but added that any provocation would be met "with great force".
- Iranian Presidential Aide REVEALS Tehran's Strategy Toward US Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- Iran's strategy to confront US hostile measures is based on a "no to war, no to sanctions" principle, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's cultural adviser, Hesameddin Ashena, told Tasnim News Agency on Tuesday.
- Trump Calls Iran 'Hostile', Says Talks Possible When Tehran 'Ready' Sputnik 21 May 2019 -- Tensions between the US and Iran have been rising since the former's unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA) in 2015. Recently the US has sent the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East, while promising to deploy as many as 120,000 additional troops to the region.
- Rare-earth shares surge following top leader visit, sparking market expectations for policy support Global Times 21 May 2019 -- China's rare-earth shares led the rally in mainland shares on Tuesday morning as the market responded to news of a visit paid by China's top leader to a rare-earth company in East China's Jiangxi Province.
- Rejection of Taiwan to WHA shows wide acceptance of one-China principle: FM Global Times 21 May 2019 -- Rejecting the Taiwan region's participation in the annual session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) shows that the one-China principle is widely welcomed by the international society, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
- Russia says new Ukraine president's rhetoric not helpful Press TV 21 May 2019 -- Russia says the rhetoric of Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to call for more American sanctions on Moscow will not help Kiev end a persisting war in Ukraine's industrial east.
- Ukraine's Zelenskiy Sets Snap Parliamentary Elections For July 21 RFE/RL 21 May 2019 -- A day after his inauguration, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy issued a decree to dissolve parliament and set snap parliamentary elections for July 21.
- PM's speech on new Brexit deal: 21 May 2019 Gov.UK 21 May 2019 -- Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a speech on the new Brexit deal.
- Lebanon economic situation very difficult, but we can overcome challenges: President Aoun Press TV 21 May 2019 -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun says even though the country's economy is in the doldrums, economic reforms and austerity measures envisioned in the 2019 state budget will help the economic future look certain.
- Audit: US Broadcasting to Cuba Rife With Bad Journalism, Ineffective Propaganda VOA 21 May 2019 -- The U.S. government service charged with delivering objective news into Cuba produces both "bad journalism" and "ineffective propaganda," according to an independent audit released Tuesday.
- Serbia Introduces Life Sentences Without Parole, Despite Council Of Europe's Concerns RFE/RL 21 May 2019 -- Serbian lawmakers have voted to introduce life imprisonment without parole for some serious crimes, despite concerns voiced by the Council of Europe's top human rights official.
- WHO: Ebola Strategies Need Adjusting in Congo VOA 21 May 2019 -- A panel of World Health Organization experts says strategies must be strengthened to combat the worsening Ebola epidemic in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The WHO's latest report counted 1,738 cases of Ebola in Congo, including 1,218 deaths.
- Malawians Vote for President, Lawmakers, Local Councilors VOA 21 May 2019 -- Malawians voted for president, members of parliament, and local councilors Tuesday. About 7 million people were expected to cast ballots in 193 constituencies.
- Malawians Vote for President, Parliament VOA 21 May 2019 -- Malawian President Peter Mutharika is seeking a second term as voters in the southern African nation cast ballots in Tuesday's general election.
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