20 October 2019 Military News
- US Sending Troops Based in Syria to Iraq, Defense Chief Says VOA 20 Oct 2019 -- U.S. troops withdrew from their largest base in northern Syria Sunday, with defense chief Mark Esper saying all American forces leaving Syria would be deployed to western Iraq to carry out anti-terrorist operations against Islamic State.
- Group of Trucks Enters Syria From Iraq to Evacuate US Servicemen – Reports Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- A group of trucks crossed on Sunday the Iraqi-Syrian border to evacuate US troops from the northern part of Syria, SANA reports said.
- Cruising Around: US Troops Leaving Syria to Head for Iraq Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- The US secretary of defence has shared with journalists that the US troops, who, as Donald Trump argued the other day, should finally come home, are not actually doing so.
- US troops leaving Syria will move to Iraq: Pentagon Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says all of the American troops pulling out of northeastern Syria will move to western Iraq.
- US Forces Evacuating Wives of Daesh Militants From Syria's Northeastern Al-Hawl Camp - Reports Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- US troops are evacuating wives of Daesh* terrorists from the Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria amid the Turkish offensive in the Arab country, Ikhbariya broadcaster reported on Sunday.
- US forces transferring Daesh terrorists from Syria to Iraq: Report Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- US military forces are transporting to safe sanctuaries hundreds of members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group from the desert region of al-Jazirah in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah to neighboring Iraq, a report says.
- NATO Created Working Group for Monitoring Turkish Operation in Syria - Reports Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- NATO has established a working group for the evaluation of Turkey's operation in Syria, with Ankara having committed to provide daily updates on the military action, refugees and damage inflicted in the course of the offensive, the Welt am Sonntag news outlet reported on Sunday.
- British Special Forces in Syria beat a hasty retreat following the US withdrawal Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- British Special Forces in Syria have been forced to withdraw from their positions in the north of the country, following the sudden retreat of US forces.
- Esper in Afghanistan to discuss 'next steps' as Trump's plans fall apart Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has traveled to Afghanistan to determine Washington's "next steps" amid stalled peace talks with the Taliban militant group and escalating violence in the country.
- EU sees 'chance for ceasefire' in Afghanistan despite spike in violence Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- The European Union (EU) says there is a chance for a ceasefire in Afghanistan, despite renewed violence in the country after the collapse of talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban militant group.
- Afghan Presidential Election Results Announcement Delayed RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- Preliminary results from Afghanistan's September 28 presidential election --- expected to be reported on October 19 – have been delayed, the country's Independent Election Commission (IEC) says.
- Pompeo Condemns Mosque Attack, Offers Support For Afghan 'Peace And Stability' RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington remains committed to "peace and stability" in Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism following a deadly attack on a mosque in the war-ravaged country.
- Pentagon Chief Arrives For Surprise Afghanistan Visit RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has arrived in the Afghan capital on his first trip to that country since taking over as Pentagon chief in July, possibly signaling fresh U.S. efforts to end the longest war in U.S. history.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Chinese military always a force for peace and justice Global Times 20 Oct 2019 -- The Chinese military will always be a force that promotes peace and justice no matter how it develops, a senior Chinese military official said on Sunday.
- Amid Border Tensions With Pakistan, India Begins Using American Satellite Guided Artillery Shells Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- The 155mm satellite guided artillery rounds were ordered following the February 2019 military standoff and subsequent border skirmishes between the two nuclear-armed nations.
- Israel to Eradicate Some of F-35's Downsides by Heavily Modifying Them Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- The fifth-generation stealth fighter is reportedly still facing numerous issues, ranging from minor to critical ones, even after two decades of development and billions of dollars spent. But while its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, is working on fixing them, Tel Aviv instead wants to make its own amendments to the troubled jet.
- Why China's Coast Guard Spent 258 Days in Waters Claimed by Malaysia VOA 20 Oct 2019 -- Chinese coast guard vessels spent 70% of the past year patrolling in a tract of the South China Sea claimed by Malaysia, an American think tank says. Malaysia did little to push back.
- Yemeni Foreign Minister Affirms that Stability in Yemen is Linked to Confronting Iranian Project SPA 20 Oct 2019 -- Yemeni Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hadrami affirmed that stability in Yemen is related to the restoration of the State and confrontation of the Iranian expansion project in Yemen.
- Erdogan Threatens to Continue Operation in Syria if US Fails to Observe Its Commitments Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to continue Turkey's military operation in north Syria upon expiry of the 120-hour ceasefire, brokered within a Turkish-US deal, if the US fails to observe its commitments in terms of ensuring the withdrawal of the Kurdish troops from the agreed area.
- Turkish Army Takes Control Over Syrian Border City Ras al-Ayn - Report Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- Ankara announced earlier this week that since the start of the Operation Peace Spring, Turkish forces have "neutralised" 525 armed militants in northern Syria.
- Turkish Defence Ministry Says One Soldier Killed, Another Wounded by Kurdish Militants in Syria Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- A five-day ceasefire in the region was announced on Saturday after talks between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US Vice President Mike Pence, however, Turkey has already accused the Kurdish militia of attacking its armed forces. The SDF denied the claims, also accusing Ankara of breaking the deal to carry out attacks on them.
- Kurdish militants withdrawing from Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn: Turkey Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- Turkey says Kurdish militants are withdrawing from the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn according to an agreement brokered with the United States, days after the Turkish army launched a cross-border offensive into northeastern Syria.
- Turkey mulls Syrian troops replacing Kurdish militants in 'safe zone' Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey does not want to see a single Kurdish militant left in the planned "safe zone" in northern Syria at the end of a fragile ceasefire in the region.
- Syrian Kurd Militia Signals Pullback Possible, Turkey Talks Tough As Hurdles Remain RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- A Syrian Kurdish militia leader has said his forces will withdraw from a border area in northeastern Syria to comply with a U.S.-brokered cease-fire deal if Turkish-led forces allow remaining Kurdish forces and civilians to leave an embattled city there.
- Has Turkey's New Offensive Left French Special Forces 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place'? Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- In the context of the Turkish offensive and the withdrawal of American troops from the region, Paris announced on the night of 13-14 October that "in the coming hours" measures would be taken to ensure the safety of the French military and civilian personnel present in the combat zone.
- Turkey to View Protection of Kurdish Units by Damascus as Declaration of War –Erdogan Aide Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- The possible protection of the Kurdish units, operating in northern Syria, by Damascus will be regarded by Ankara as a declaration of war on Turkey, Yasin Aktay, an adviser of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, said on Saturday.
- Syrian army captures previous U.S. base in Hasakah province People's Daily 20 Oct 2019 -- The Syrian army on Saturday captured a previous U.S.-run base in the northeastern province of Hasakah, as part of an ongoing military deployment in Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria, a military official said.
- Recovery of Oil, Gas Fields Begins in Syria's Raqqa - Field Management Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- Recovery works at oil and gas fields in the Syrian province of Raqqa, as well as in the "triangle" between the freed provinces of Raqqah, Hama and Homs, have begun, the head of the al-Saura field management Ali Ibrahim said.
- India, Pakistan exchange fire over de facto Kashmir border Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- Indian and Pakistani forces have exchanged mortar shells and rifle fire in the disputed Kashmir region, leaving multiple casualties on both sides.
- Pakistan, Indian Exchange Of Fire Kills At Least Seven At Border RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- At least four civilians and three soldiers are said to have died during cross-border skirmishes between Pakistani and Indian troops late on October 19, reportedly making it one of the deadliest days since New Delhi revoked the special status of Indian-administered Kashmir in August.
- India Says Two Soldiers and One Civilian Killed by Pakistani Forces Along Line of Control Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- New Delhi stated on Sunday that after the incident the Indian military struck the enemy, causing casualties and damage to the Pakistani forces.
- Bangladesh to move Rohingya refugees to remote, flood-prone island Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- Thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar who have taken refuge in Bangladesh are now planned to be relocated from camps to a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal.
- White House Aide Mulvaney Reiterates, No Ukraine Money Link to Political Investigations VOA 20 Oct 2019 -- Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday defended his claim that President Donald Trump did not withhold nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in order to get Kyiv to undertake investigations of Democratic rivals and the 2016 election.
- Trump Cancels Plan to Hold G-7 at His Miami Golf Club VOA 20 Oct 2019 -- In a series of Tweets Saturday night U.S. President Donald Trump said he was canceling plans to hold the 2020 G-7 summit at a golf resort he owns in Miami, Florida.
- Lebanon premier agrees to reform package as deadlines approaches Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has reportedly given the nod on a package of reforms with government partners in an attempt to tackle an economic crisis that has triggered nationwide protests in the recent past.
- Lebanese Government Will Not Introduce New Taxes to Replenish Budget - Finance Minister Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- The Lebanese government will replenish the budget without introducing any new taxes, the country's Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil confirmed after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Saad Hariri on measures to overcome the economic crisis in the country.
- Chilean Authorities Impose Second Curfew in 24 Hours in Santiago Amid Mass Riots Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- The second curfew over the past 24 hours has been imposed in Santiago as the death toll from riots rose to four amid growing public unrest caused by heightened subway fares, the special presidential appointee for the national defence during the state of emergency, Javier Iturriaga, announced in a statement on Sunday.
- Chilean Authorities Impose Curfews in Several Provinces Amid Mass Protests - Reports Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- The Chilean government has imposed curfews in a number of provinces amid growing protests caused by rising subway fares, media reported.
- Estonia To Consider Early Release of Ex-Defense Official Who Spied For Russia RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- A former high-ranking Estonian defense official convicted of spying for Russia may be released early from prison when a court on October 29 is expected to rule on the matter.
- Approaching end of Iran's JCPOA restrictions and US' wrath IRNA 20 Oct 2019 -- Approaching the end of the restrictions accepted by Iran in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that have now become a trump card for Tehran has frustrated the Trump administration with all its policy of maximum pressure to prevent it from happening.
- Japan, France propose $18.4Bln loan plan to Iran if in full compliance with JCPOA ISNA 20 Oct 2019 -- Japan and France have proposed a joint plan to provide Iran with a loan of about $18.4 billion to be secured by oil if Tehran returns to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), media reported.
- Over a million omitted from Iran cash handout list: Report Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- The Iranian government has reportedly removed more than a million people from its cash handout list, saying they are well-off and are not eligible to receive subsidies.
- Fire affecting waste canal at Iran's major refinery fully contained Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- Iranian authorities have announced that a fire affecting the country's oldest and largest oil refinery in the southwestern city of Abadan has fully been contained, insisting the damage caused by the incident was minimal and had no impact on production.
- Production of renovated South Pars SDP9 platform on its maximum capacity IRNA 20 Oct 2019 -- South Pars SPD9 platform, which was set on fire in June this year, was commissioned last week after completing the first phase of renovation and reached a maximum production capacity of one billion feet (28 million cubic meters), Pars Oil and Gas Operations Manager Alireza Ebadi said on Sunday.
- Iran's nuclear industry 100% indigenized: AEOI official Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- A high-ranking official at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country's nuclear activities have been entirely indigenized and the Islamic Republic has become self-sufficient in designing and manufacturing different types of centrifuge machines.
- Expanding violence shows dangers of copying HK Global Times 20 Oct 2019 -- Chile witnessed the worst unrest in decades over the weekend where people protested against the high cost of living. The Chilean government responded by declaring a state of emergency and imposing a night curfew.
- HK-style violence to impact Western system Global Times 20 Oct 2019 -- Radical demonstrators in Hong Kong held unapproved protests on Sunday in which mobs continued their damage to public facilities. But this weekend, at least three important cities in the world witnessed serious violence, and Hong Kong was just one of them. Similar violent attacks also took place in Catalonia of Spain and Santiago of Chile.
- Official: Hong Kong can learn from Macao approach Global Times 20 Oct 2019 -- The implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle in Macao is a successful example and can be used for reference by Hong Kong, said an official from China's State Council over the weekend.
- HK should provide evidence on murder case before suspect returns: MAC CNA 20 Oct 2019 -- Taiwan's top policymaking body on China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), said Sunday the government will not lift its recently imposed travel ban on a Hong Kong citizen wanted for murder in Taiwan, unless the Hong Kong authorities agree to share more information on the case.
- Surrender of HK murder suspect comes on his own accord: HK govt Global Times 20 Oct 2019 -- Hong Kong Special Administration Region (HKSAR) government denied false accusation Sunday that it influenced a suspect wanted for the alleged murder of his girlfriend who said earlier he is willing to hand himself over to Taiwan authorities.
- HK chief Lam backs police force in rare media appearance ahead of planned protests People's Daily 20 Oct 2019 -- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Saturday backed the city's police force, saying officers are not fighting alone, as anti-government forces are planning more protests for the weekend.
- Hong Kong police confront protesters in unauthorized rally Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- Riot police in Hong Kong have used teargas and water cannon to disperse anti-government protesters attending an unauthorized march in the Chinese city, which has been rocked by violent rallies over the past four months.
- Hong Kong Students Flock to Taiwan Universities Amid Protest Turmoil Radio Free Asia 20 Oct 2019 -- Faced with the prospect of loss of liberty amid continuing protests at home, Hongkongers of all ages are increasingly opting to study in democratic Taiwan, RFA has learned.
- UK PM sends unsigned letter to EU asking for Brexit delay Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sent an unsigned letter to the European Union requesting a delay to the UK's exit from the bloc.
- Boris Johnson Refuses to Sign Brexit Delay Request, Says It Is 'Parliament's Letter' Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- UK PM Boris Johnson has told the EU that he is "not asking" for a "deeply corrosive" delay to Brexit, as he ordered a senior diplomat to send an unsigned photocopy of the request drawn up by MPs asking for a Brexit extension.
- British PM calls on lawmakers to back Brexit deal People's Daily 20 Oct 2019 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday carried out his persuasion campaign inside the parliament to call upon lawmakers to support his Brexit deal with the European Union (EU), voicing his hope that an historic sitting of the House of Commons will be "the moment" to "finally resolve Brexit."
- The Politics Of Memory: A Struggle For An Institute And What It Means For Ukrainian Identity RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- The building housing the official Ukrainian institute in charge of "national memory" has seen happier days - and darker days as well.
- Protests held in Spain's Catalonia for 6th consecutive day Press TV 20 Oct 2019 -- People have taken to the streets in the capital of Spain's Catalonia region on the sixth consecutive day of protests against the handing down of jail terms to Catalan independence leaders.
- Moldovans Vote In First Polls Since Summer Crisis RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- Voting has begun in local elections in Moldova, in its first electoral test since a pro-Western government took power four months ago following a bitter constitutional standoff.
- North Macedonia to Hold Snap Parliamentary Vote on April 12, 2020 - Prime Minister Sputnik 20 Oct 2019 -- The snap general election in North Macedonia has been scheduled to take place on April 12 next year, Northern Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on Sunday following talks with leaders of the country's seven largest political parties.
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