31 May 2019 Military News
- Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve Monthly Civilian Casualty Report OIR 31 May 2019 -- Since the beginning of operations in 2014, the Coalition and partner forces have liberated nearly 110,000 square kilometers (42,471 square miles) from Daesh, eliminating their self-proclaimed territorial caliphate and freeing 7.7 million people from Daesh oppression. The Coalition will continue to work with partner forces to deny Daesh any physical space and influence in the region as well as deny Daesh the resources they need to resurge.
- US Troop Levels in Syria 'Quite a Bit Lower' with Help on the Way VOA 31 May 2019 -- U.S. officials are touting a "measurable decrease" in the number of U.S. troops in Syria, though they refuse to say just how many remain in the country to aid in the fight against remnants of the Islamic State terror group.
- Pakistan and Afghanistan Leaders Hold Rare Talks VOA 31 May 2019 -- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held their first face-to-face talks Friday on the sidelines of an annual summit of Islamic countries in Saudi Arabia.
- Car bomb hits US convoy in Kabul; four killed, four injured Press TV 31 May 2019 -- At least four Afghan civilians have been killed and four American troops injured as a car bomber attacked a foreign military convoy in the capital Kabul.
- Car Bomb Rocks Afghan Capital RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- A fatal car-bomb blast has struck the Afghan capital, Kabul, the second deadly explosion in the city in two days.
- Car Bomb Attack on Coalition Convoy in Kabul Kills at Least Four - Reports Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- The blast comes just a day after a suicide bomber carried out an attack outside a military training academy in Kabul, killing six people, with the Daesh* terror group claiming responsibility for the deadly incident.
- Taliban Bomber Targets US Military Convoy in Kabul VOA 31 May 2019 -- Officials in Afghanistan say a suicide bomb attack Friday targeted a foreign military convoy in Kabul, killing at least four Afghan civilians and wounding four American soldiers.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Joint hypersonic weapon tests to start next year Army News 31 May 2019 -- The first joint flight test of a future hypersonic weapon will take place next year, followed by tests every six months until the weapon is fielded by fiscal year 2023, the chief of Army's hypersonic program said last week.
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Meeting With Australia's Minister for Defense Linda Reynolds DoD 31 May 2019
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Meeting With Singapore Minister of Defence Dr. Ng Eng Hen DoD 31 May 2019
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Meeting With United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Defence Penelope Mordaunt DoD 31 May 2019
- U.S. 6th Fleet Units Participate in Exercise Argonaut 2019 NNS 31 May 2019 -- The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Yuma (T-EPF 8) and a P-8A Poseidon, attached to Patrol Squadron (VP) 10, began participation in exercise Argonaut in Limassol, Cyprus with the Cyprus Air Force and British Royal Navy, May 27.
- Shipyard notches seventh consecutive on-time carrier overhaul NNS 31 May 2019 -- Declaring the massive overhaul of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) complete May 27, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility celebrated its seventh consecutive early or on-time completion of an aircraft carrier availability.
- SWRMC Employees Support USS Rushmore Docking NNS 31 May 2019 -- Employees from Southwest Regional Maintenance Center's (SWRMC) docking team coordinated with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest (NAVFAC SW) to successfully dock Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship in the Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) graving dock on May 21.
- US Navy Ship Enters Baltic Sea For Drills as NATO Beefs Up Activities Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- The US-led BALTOPS exercises are set to take place in Russia's backyard. NATO has demonstrably beefed up its presence in the Baltic region despite Russia's concerns. Apart from the Spring Storm drills in Estonia, with 10,000 troops from over a dozen countries involved, naval exercises called Baltic Protector have kicked off.
- 123rd Airlift Wing supports interoperability with exercise Immediate Response US Air Force 31 May 2019 -- More than 90 Airmen and three C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Airlift Wing participated in Immediate Response 2019, a multinational exercise co-led by Croatian Armed Forces, Slovenian Armed Forces and U.S. Army Europe, at Aviano Air Base, May 9-22.
- U.S.-Australia-India-Japan Consultations ("The Quad") US Dept. of State 31 May 2019 -- "Senior officials from the United States, Australia, India, and Japan met in Bangkok on May 31, 2019 for consultations on their collective efforts to advance a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific."
- US Claims of Russia's Illegal Nuclear Tests Disproved by Int'l Experts - Lavrov Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday refuted US claims suggesting that Russia has been illegally carrying out nuclear tests, stressing that international experts have already proven these allegations wrong.
- China's second carrier conducts possible takeoff, landing tests: reports Global Times 31 May 2019 -- China's second aircraft carrier returned to the shipyard on Friday after completing its sixth sea trial, which might have featured warplane takeoff and landing tests for the first time, reports said.
- Efforts needed to make military ties stabilizer for China-U.S. relationship: spokesperson People's Daily 31 May 2019 -- China and the United States should build a coordinated, cooperative and stable relationship and work hard to make military-to-military ties a stabilizer for the China-U.S. relationship, said Wu Qian, a spokesperson with the Ministry of National Defense, on Thursday.
- US, China Defense Leaders Meet Amid Increased Tensions VOA 31 May 2019 -- Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe held talks Friday in Singapore, as the secretary worked to build the U.S.-China military relationship while reprimanding Chinese "bad behavior."
- China, Laos to hold first joint anti-terrorism drill People's Daily 31 May 2019 -- The Southern Theater Command of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the border defense forces of Lao People's Army will hold the first joint anti-terrorism drill between the two armies in June, the Ministry of National Defense announced Thursday.
- US Warns India May Face Similar Problems as Turkey Over S-400s Purchase – Report Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Turkey has experienced troubles in its relations with the US since it picked Russia's state-of-the-art air defence system over other alternatives, including America's Patriot systems. Washington has reportedly halted the delivery of parts for F-35s already ordered by Ankara and threatened the country with sanctions as well as exclusion from NATO.
- Defense Minister: Negotiations on the country's defense capability in vain IRNA 31 May 2019 -- Iran's Defense Minister said that the talks on the country's defense capability are meaningless, and noted that today Iran is relying on its defense capability and due to the enemy has not been able to do anything so far.
- Kremlin rejects talks over S-400 sale to Iran IRNA 31 May 2019 -- Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov reacted to US media Bloomberg's claims and rejected holding any talks with Iran to sell S-400 missile system.
- Moscow BREAKS SILENCE on Claim of Russia's Alleged Refusal to Sell S-400 to Iran Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- On Thursday, Bloomberg published a report, citing its sources, which says that Russia has rejected a request from Iran to buy S-400 missile defence systems amid concerns that the move would deteriorate the situation in the Middle East.
- Another Saudi ship leaves French port without weapons amid anti-war protests Press TV 31 May 2019 -- Activists have managed to force yet another Saudi cargo ship to leave the southern French port of Fos-sur-Mer without loading weapons that it was supposed to take back home amid Riyadh's deadly war against the people of Yemen.
- Turkey's procurement of Russian S-400 systems going as planned: Foreign Ministry Press TV 31 May 2019 -- Turkey has dismissed reports alleging that Ankara is considering delay in the delivery of advanced Russian built S-400 air defense missile systems in the wake of US pressure and threats of imposing sanctions over the purchase of the military hardware, emphasizing the plan is going on as planned.
- Pentagon warns Turkey about devastating consequences of buying S-400 Press TV 31 May 2019 -- A top Pentagon official has warned Turkey about devastating consequences of buying advanced Russian made S-400 air defense missile systems.
- Pentagon: Purchase Of Russian Missile System Would Be 'Devastating' For Turkey RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- A top Pentagon official has again warned Turkey about the consequences of purchasing a missile-defense system from Russia, turning up the pressure despite Ankara's stated determination to go through with the deal.
- US Defence Chief Unaware of Plan to Create Working Group on S-400s With Turkey Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Ever since Ankara inked an agreement with Russia to buy S-400 defence systems in December 2017, Washington has been pressuring it into abandoning the deal. The US has threatened to halt the delivery of F-35 jets ordered by Turkey and even to boot it out of NATO, if it doesn't follow the demands.
- Pentagon: Turkey's S-400 Acquisition to Be Devastating to F-35 Programme Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Turkey's deployment of Russian S-400 air defence systems would be devastating for the US F-35 fighter programme, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs Kathryn Wheelbarger said at an event on Thursday.
- US Secretary of State Discusses Iran, China While Meeting German Officials VOA 31 May 2019 -- In his first visit to Germany as U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo met Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin for talks that focused on Iran and China.
- Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Before Their Meeting US Dept. of State 31 May 2019 -- Remarks by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
- Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo And German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas At a Joint Press Availability US Dept. of State 31 May 2019 -- Press Availability by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State and Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister
- Remarks by Vice President Pence in Press Gaggle The White House 31 May 2019
- 31 May 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 31 May 2019
- Duterte Questions Beijing's Territorial Claims as US Laments S China Sea 'Militarisation' Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Six states claim ownership over several parts of the South China Sea, but at the moment China controls the vast majority of the territory. The US is actively trying to contest Beijing's dominance in the region by sending military ships, sparking concerns that such moves could cause a conflict.
- World Food Programme accesses Yemeni frontline district for first time since conflict began UN News 31 May 2019 -- Amid the world's largest humanitarian crisis still unfolding in Yemen, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has gained access to the rebel-held northern district of Nihm, for the first time since the war between Houthis and the Saudi-backed Government coalition escalated in 2015.
- Houthi leader: Yemen will always remain pro-Palestine Press TV 31 May 2019 -- The leader of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement has reiterated his country's support for Palestine in the face of Israeli occupation, calling on Yemeni people to express their solidarity with Palestinians by partaking in International Quds Day rallies.
- Captured Daesh Bride Helping CIA Track Down Terrorist Leader Baghdadi - Report Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- After months of speculation as to whether he was alive or dead, at the end of April a video was released in which Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in five years. Now, new information about the hunt for his location has been made public.
- Damascus says Iran's presence in Syria 'legitimate, lawful' Press TV 31 May 2019 -- The Syrian government has rejected a final communiqué issued following the 14th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi city of Mecca, describing the presence of Iranian military advisors in the conflict-plagued Arab country as "legitimate and lawful."
- Nearly 950 Die After Spike In Syria Fighting RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- A rise in fighting in the past month in Syria's Idlib Province has resulted in the deaths of 948 people, nearly a third of them civilians, a war monitoring group said on May 31.
- Militants Launch Attacks in Syria's Latakia, Hama, Aleppo – Russian Military Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Syrian militants attacked residential areas in the western provinces of Latakia and Hama as well as on the northwestern city of Aleppo, an official with the Russian Defence Ministry said Thursday.
- Onus is on Turkey to rein in militants in Syria's Idlib, Russia says Press TV 31 May 2019 -- A high-ranking Russian official says Turkey carries the responsibility to stop Takfiri militants stationed in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib from launching attacks and firing projectiles on civilian facilities and Russian targets.
- Palestine's al-Quds not up for sale: Iranian FM Zarif Press TV 31 May 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticized some Arab rulers for siding with the Israel regime on the status of Jerusalem al-Quds, saying the holy occupied Palestinian city is not up for sale.
- Iran's Rouhani Accuses US of Plotting Against Palestinian Authority Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday decried the US "deal of the century" as a conspiracy that seeks to quash any possibility of a sovereign Palestinian state.
- More Somali Refugees Return Home as Conditions in Yemen Worsen VOA 31 May 2019 -- A boat with 125 Somali refugees fleeing insecurity in Yemen arrived in the Somali port of Berbera Thursday. The voyage was organized by the U.N. refugee agency and partners in cooperation with authorities in Yemen and Somalia.
- South Sudan Reacts Angrily to Renewed UNSC Sanctions VOA 31 May 2019 -- South Sudan's government is reacting angrily to the United Nations Security Council's move to renew sanctions on that country for another year, including an arms embargo. A South Sudan official warned continuing sanctions would weaken the government and embolden holdout groups that refused to sign the revitalized peace deal.
- Exile: Data Dump Shows More Russian Political Meddling VOA 31 May 2019 -- A prominent exiled Russian opposition figure says recently leaked documents show Russian meddling in U.S. affairs was more sophisticated, ambitious and potentially more dire than the social media influence campaigns during the 2016 election.
- U.S. Judge Finds Alleged Russian Hacker Nikulin Competent To Stand Trial RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- A U.S. judge has ordered that Yevgeny Nikulin, a Russian man extradited from the Czech Republic and charged in one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history, is mentally competent to stand trial, paving the way for the beginning of formal proceedings.
- Mexican President: US Coercion Won't Fix Migration Problems VOA 31 May 2019 -- Mexico's president responded to U.S. tariff threats with caution again Friday, urging "dialogue" over "coercive measures" in the latest conflict over the two countries' migration policies.
- Iraq breaks with Saudi on Iran during Mecca summit Press TV 31 May 2019 -- Iraq has opposed the final statement of an emergency meeting in Saudi Arabia, which condemned what it called Iran's "interference" in countries of the Middle East region.
- Saudi King, Arab Nations Denounce Iran At Emergency Summit In Mecca RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- Saudi Arabia's King Salman issued a call at an emergency summit of Arab leaders in Mecca for the international community to use "all means to stop the Iranian regime from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries."
- GCC Extraordinary Summit Kicks Off under Chairmanship of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques SPA 31 May 2019 -- The extraordinary summit of the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) started at Al-Safa Palace here this evening under the chairmanship of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
- Arab Leaders Condemn Terrorist Actions of Houthi Militias and Iranian Conduct in the Region SPA 31 May 2019 -- Leaders and heads of delegations of Arab countries have condemned the actions of the Houthi terrorist militias and the conduct of Iran against the principles of good neighborliness, which threatens security and stability in the region.
- GCC Extraordinary Summit Issues Final Communique SPA 31 May 2019 -- The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States issued a final Communique today as follows:
- Arab States Accuse Iran of Supplying Ballistic Missiles to Yemeni Houthi Rebels Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Gulf Arab states have declared unity in the face of "Iran threats" according to a communique of the summit in Mecca.
- Russian State-Funded Pollster Changes Survey Questions -- And Putin's Ratings Soar RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- One week ago, the Kremlin was jolted by a new opinion poll that showed trust in President Vladimir Putin had fallen to the lowest level in nearly 20 years as Russia's preeminent political figure.
- Landing At Pushkin: Putin Decree Assigns Russian Airports The Names Of Cultural Figures RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- It's already pretty hard to travel to Russia without hearing the name of the beloved 19th-century poet Aleksandr Pushkin. Now it may be impossible, if you fly into Moscow.
- UN expert criticizes States for 'ganging up' on Wikileaks' Assange; warns against extradition, fearing 'serious' rights violations UN News 31 May 2019 -- After visiting Julian Assange in a London prison, an independent UN human rights expert expressed urgent concern on Friday, for the Wikileaks co-founder's well-being, accusing "a group of democratic States" of "ganging up" on the prisoner to "isolate, demonize and abuse" him and warned against extraditing the controversial publisher to the United States.
- North Korea's US Envoy Executed Following Failed Trump-Kim Summit - Report Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his government are said to have carried out a purge against at least five Foreign Ministry officials, including the country's envoy to the US, following the second official meeting between leaders of the US and Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
- Another North Korea Purge? Experts Are Divided VOA 31 May 2019 -- One of South Korea's most influential newspapers reported Friday that North Korea executed its top envoy to the United States following February's failed summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.
- North Korea executes five envoys to failed US summit: Report Press TV 31 May 2019 -- North Korea has executed its nuclear envoy to the United States and four other diplomats tasked with steering negotiations for a failed summit between leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.
- North Korea Reportedly Executes Special Nuclear Envoy Over Failed U.S. Summit RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly executed his special envoy on nuclear talks with the United States in the wake of a failed summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi in February.
- Minor Hydroelectric Power Stations Conducive to Economic Activities in DPRK KCNA 31 May 2019 -- Drought and high temperature lasting in the DPRK for the second straight year cause difficulties in the electricity output of large-scale hydroelectric power stations.
- High Temperatures to Be Witnessed in DPRK KCNA 31 May 2019 -- According to data of the State Hydro-meteorological Administration in the DPRK, the country will be often affected by a low pressure system passing through its northern part and then by high pressure from the south early in June.
- Press Review KCNA 31 May 2019 -- Following are major news items and articles in newspapers of the DPRK on Friday:
- IAEA reiterates Iran commitments to JCPOA IRNA 31 May 2019 -- The International Atomic Energy Agency in its seasonal report verified the fact that Iran has not gone beyond the limitations of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Iran complying with nuclear deal's key limits: UN nuclear agency Press TV 31 May 2019 -- Iran's increased stocks of key nuclear materials are still within the limits set by a 2015 deal it signed with major world powers, a quarterly report by the UN nuclear agency says.
- IAEA Report Says Iran Continues To Comply With Nuclear Deal RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- The UN nuclear monitoring agency says Iran continues to comply with a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, although its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and heavy water are growing.
- Shamkhani: US government not worthy of negotiation IRNA 31 May 2019 -- Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani said that the US government does not deserve to negotiate with because they consider the negotiation as part of exerting pressure and not a way to solve the problems.
- Iran condemns Arab leaders' statement, rejects its 'unfounded' claims Press TV 31 May 2019 -- Iran has slammed Saudi Arabia for exploiting its privilege of hosting an emergency meeting of Arab leaders to raise anti-Iran issues, saying the divisive approach serves Israel.
- Saudi King Claims Iran 'Supporting Terrorism', Calls for International Effort Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud called on the international community to take action to for making Iran cease its alleged "support for terrorism" amid an escalation of tensions in the region.
- Pompeo: Iran Attacked Oil Tankers in Gulf to Raise Crude Oil Prices Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the apparent attacks on four oil tankers located off the coast of the UAE's Fujairah earlier this month were "efforts by Iranians to raise the price of crude oil around the world."
- CPC launches campaign to stress Party's founding mission among members Global Times 31 May 2019 -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday reiterated the Party's original aspiration and mission, which is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation.
- US should wake up and pull back before it's too late People's Daily 31 May 2019 -- What the current trade frictions have showcased to the world is China's sense of responsibility and the unscrupulousness of the U.S. Such remark by Samy Kamhawy, a senior journalist from Egypt's largest daily newspaper Al-Ahram, is an accurate description of the current situation.
- Taiwan should be silent on Xi's unification formula: Taipei mayor CNA 31 May 2019 -- Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) reiterated his stance Friday that Taiwan should remain silent on the topic of "one country, two systems," the unification formula Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) laid out earlier this year.
- China warns US against 'playing with fire' through supporting Taiwan Press TV 31 May 2019 -- China says the United States is "playing with fire" by a series of actions it has taken in the Taiwan Strait in support of the self-ruled island's secession bid.
- Chinese Minister Blasts US for Undermining One China Policy With Taiwan Actions Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan earlier in the day rejected China's claim that the continued militarisation of islands in the South China Sea is purely defensive, calling it overkill and excessive.
- Taiwan passes bill for referendum on cross-strait agreements CNA 31 May 2019 -- Any potential political accord with China will need not only the approval of lawmakers, but also of the people via a national referendum, according to an amendment passed Friday by the legislative Yuan.
- Narendra Modi Government's Council of Ministers Gets Portfolios Sputnik 31 May 2019 -- Notable portfolios among Modi's Council of Ministers is BJP President Amit Shah getting the Home Ministry, Rajnath Singh receiving the Defence Ministry, and Nirmala Sitharaman being given the Finance and Corporate Affairs Ministry, with former Diplomat S. Jaishankar becoming the external affairs minister.
- NASA's Curiosity rover finds clay minerals on Mars People's Daily 31 May 2019 -- NASA's Curiosity rover has found the highest amounts of clay minerals since its landing on Mars in August of 2012, according to a release of NASA on Wednesday.
- EU's Tusk Continues Central Asian Tour With Kazakh Talks RFE/RL 31 May 2019 -- European Council President Donald Tusk has continued his Central Asian tour with a visit to Kazakhstan, where he held talks with interim President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev.
- Mozambique pledging conference hopes to soften devastating blow of back-to-back cyclones UN News 31 May 2019 -- As some 1.85 million people in Mozambique try to recover from back-to-back cyclones Idai and Kenneth, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Friday kicked off a two-day pledging forum to drum up funds to help get the vulnerable country get back on its feet.
- African Free Trade Deal Takes Effect VOA 31 May 2019 -- The African continental free trade agreement went into effect Thursday, with 24 of 54 countries ratifying it.
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