24 October 2019 Military News
- US Done Fighting Over 'Long-Bloodstained Sand' in Syria VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- The United States is "getting out" of Syria, no longer willing to spend blood and treasure in a country ripped apart by civil war now that the Islamic State terror group's self-declared caliphate is gone.
- US 'Likely' to Deploy Tanks in Syria to Guard Oil Fields – Report Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- The Pentagon has prepared a plan to relocate up to 30 Abrams tanks to secure Syrian oil fields, citing a need to repel the resurgent Daesh* terror group. Comments made by a Pentagon official suggest, however, that there are other reasons.
- U.S. defense secretary denies U.S. troops withdrawn from Syria to stay in Iraq People's Daily 24 Oct 2019 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday denied that the U.S. troops withdrawn from neighboring Syria would stay in Iraq, said a statement by Iraqi Prime Minister's media office.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper's Meeting With Croatian Minister of Defense Damir Krsticevic DoD 24 Oct 2019
- USS Springfield Conducts Change of Command and Change of Homeport NNS 24 Oct 2019 -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Springfield (SSN 761) conducted a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Oct. 23.
- Marine Corps F-35Bs and USS America Train Together NNS 24 Oct 2019 -- Approximately one dozen, fully-operational F-35B Lightning IIs embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) Oct. 8 during routine training in the eastern Pacific.
- Ford Completes Five-Day Fast Cruise Ahead of Sea Trials NNS 24 Oct 2019 -- The Navy's newest aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) completed a five-day pierside fast cruise evolution on Wednesday, Oct. 23 ahead of departing Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) later this month.
- US Air Force's A-10 Ground Attack Aircraft Get Surround Sound Cockpits Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- Thanks to a new initiative by the US Air Force, the branch's A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft will finally catch up to their pilots' living rooms, once new surround sound alert systems are installed in their cockpits.
- US Military Bought Chinese-Made Drones for Target Practice VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- Chinese-manufactured drones purchased by the Pentagon months after their use was prohibited because of cybersecurity concerns are being used as "targets" and are not being deployed with elite U.S. forces on missions, the Pentagon official in charge of acquiring military equipment has said.
- Department of Defense Releases 2019 Military Intelligence Program Budget DoD 24 Oct 2019 -- The Department of Defense released today the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) appropriated top line budget for FY 2019. The total MIP budget, which included both the base budget and Overseas Contingency Operations appropriations, was $21.5 billion and is aligned to support the National Defense Strategy.
- Air Force demonstrates rocket engine preburner for advanced liquid rocket engines US Air Force 24 Oct 2019 -- The Air Force Research Laboratory has successfully tested a state-of-the-art rocket engine preburner to elevate the U.S. technology base for high-performance oxygen-rich staged combustion.
- NATO Meeting to Address, Syria, Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq DoD News 24 Oct 2019 -- Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and his NATO counterparts are at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, with discussions planned on the situation in Syria and efforts to ensure the coalition arrayed against international terrorism stays together and focused.
- The Czech Republic joins multinational fleet of tanker-transport aircraft NATO 24 Oct 2019 -- On Thursday (24 October 2019), the Czech Republic joined a multinational effort to acquire and operate new tanker transport aircraft – the Multi Role Tanker Transport Capability. This initiative was launched by the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 2016 and aims to boost the ability of European Allies to refuel aircraft in mid-air.
- Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers NATO 24 Oct 2019
- Doorstep statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels NATO 24 Oct 2019
- 'Tough Times For Arms Control,' NATO Chief Says RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that arms-control regimes need to adapt to "new realities" to remain effective, citing Russia's disregard for its international commitments and the emergence of new actors and technologies.
- Turkey Isolated At NATO Meeting, Slammed For Syria Incursion RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- Turkey was subjected to some harsh criticism for its invasion of northeast Syria at the start of a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on October 24.
- Russia deploys S-400 missile system to Serbia for its first ever drill abroad: Video Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- Russia has deployed a battalion of its advanced S-400 missile defense systems to Serbia to be used in a joint military drill in the Balkan country, the first time Moscow uses the state-of-the-art air defense interceptors "on the territory of a foreign state", the Russian defense ministry says.
- Vucic Confirms Presence Of Russian S-400 Missile Systems In Serbia RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- Serbia's president has confirmed that Russian S-400 and Pantsir-S air-defense missile systems are participating in joint Serbian-Russian military exercises.
- Russia Deploys S-400, Pantsir-S Missile Systems to Serbia for First Drills Abroad - Defence Ministry Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- In September, Moscow and Belgrade held joint drills dubbed "Slavic Shield-2019", involving S-400s and Pantsir-S systems, at the Ashuluk testing area in southern Russia.
- US agrees to refurbish used warship sold to Bahrain Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- The United States has accepted a request by Bahrain to refurbish a decommissioned warship that it sold to the Persian Gulf island earlier this year.
- US State Department Approves $150Mln Frigate Upgrade for Bahrain Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- The US State Department has given the go-ahead to upgrade and modernize the US Navy frigate Robert G. Bradley to be operated by the Emirate of Bahrain, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a press release on Wednesday.
- China's new rifle to help create future 'super soldiers' Global Times 24 Oct 2019 -- China's recently revealed new service rifle is reliable and comfortable, and "super soldiers" are in the making when paired with an advanced individual soldier combat system, said a senior Chinese light arms developer.
- India Rolls Out Red Carpet for Industries to Boost Military Sales Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that country would achieve a target of $5 billion for defence exports by 2024. However, he did not mention what products India will export to achieve the target.
- Expert: Big Increase in Seoul Defense Cost-Sharing Could Mean Fewer Weapons VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- The United States' demand for a significant increase in South Korea's share of defense costs for keeping U.S. troops stationed in the east Asian nation could potentially backfire on its defense planning by reducing Seoul's capabilities to purchase American-made weapons, according to a defense expert.
- Saudi Royal Naval Forces participates in the naval exercise (IMX 19) SPA 24 Oct 2019 -- The Saudi Royal Naval Forces is set to take part in IMX 19, US Central Naval Command, the world's largest multinational mixed international naval exercise which will take place at the North Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Coast of Djibouti and Gulf of Aqaba during the period between 27 /2/ 1441 H to 17/3/ 1441 H. with the participation of 56 countries and six international organizations.
- Taiwan receives letter from U.S. offering sale of F-16s (update) CNA 24 Oct 2019 -- Taiwan has received a draft letter of offer and acceptance (LOA), a contract between the United States military and a foreign military sale customer, detailing its offer to sell 66 F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan, the defense ministry said Thursday.
- 24 October 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 24 Oct 2019
- US Defense Secretary: Turkey Put US in 'Very Terrible Situation' VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says Turkey's offensive against Kurds in northeastern Syria was "unwarranted" and Ankara is "heading in the wrong direction" after its agreement with Russia to jointly patrol a "safe zone" in the region.
- U.S. Senators Want Expedited Visa For Kurdish Commander Amid Syria Crisis RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- A group of U.S. Democratic and Republican senators have asked the State Department to expedite a travel visa for a commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), so that he can brief lawmakers in Washington about the situation in Syria.
- Israel Voices Concern Over US Pullout From Syria VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- The U.S. decision to remove almost all of its troops from Syria is creating waves in neighboring Israel as well. Israelis worry the move could lead to a resurgence of Islamic State and give Iran more freedom of movement. On a broader level, it raises questions about the U.S. commitment to its allies, including Israel.
- Security Council: UN welcomes efforts to de-escalate crisis in northeast Syria UN News 24 Oct 2019 -- The United Nations welcomes efforts to de-escalate the crisis in northeastern Syria in the wake of Turkey's incursion in the region, a senior official with responsibility for the region told the Security Council on Thursday.
- Syrian army deploys more military units to north after Turkey-Russia deal People's Daily 24 Oct 2019 -- The Syrian army on Wednesday sent military units to new deployment points in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah and the northern province of Raqqa, state news agency SANA reported.
- Turkey to crush Kurdish militants if they don't leave Syria safe zone, warns Erdogan Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- President Recep Tayyip Ergogan says Turkey will use its right to crush Kurdish militants from the People's Protection Units (YPG) if they do not withdraw from a so-called "safe zone" in northern Syria under a truce agreement with Russia to run joint patrols around the area.
- Turkey's Key Objectives in Doubt Following Sochi Deal Over Syria VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared it "historic," while Russian President Vladimir Putin dubbed as "crucial" the accord aimed at ending Turkey's military operation into Syria against a Kurdish militia.
- Trump lifts sanctions against Turkey over ceasefire in Syria People's Daily 24 Oct 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he ordered U.S. sanctions on Turkey over its offensive in northern Syria to be lifted as Turkey had informed Washington of a "permanent" ceasefire in Syria.
- NATO Not Considering Sending Troops to North Syria – Stoltenberg Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after meeting defence ministers on Thursday that no calls had been made to send NATO troops to northern Syria to try to ease tensions there.
- Russia to deploy more military policemen, equipment to Syria Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- A Russian official says the country will send more military policemen and equipment to Syria under a deal with Turkey that suspended the offensive against Kurdish militants along the border.
- Concerns Persist About Fate of Captured Islamic State VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- Fears that Turkey's offensive in northeastern Syria allowed untold numbers of captured Islamic State terror group fighters to escape may be overblown, according to U.S. officials.
- Kurdish forces in northeast Syria begin withdrawal along Turkish border Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria have left several positions along the long border with Turkey, complying with a deal between Russia and Turkey that saw the deployment of Syrian government troops to the border regions.
- Kurdish-led SDF militant group thanks Russia for defusing Turkey's Syria incursion Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militant group has thanked Moscow for striking a deal with Ankara, which ended a Turkish offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Syria, welcoming the deployment of Russian and Syrian troops to the border regions as part of the agreement.
- Amnesty International Report Says Civilians in Myanmar's War-Torn Shan State Face Human Rights Violations From Both Sides Radio Free Asia 24 Oct 2019 -- Myanmar's army and its ethnic army foes in the decades-long conflict in Myanmar's Shan state have both committed human rights abuses against civilians, Amnesty International said in a report on Thursday.
- Hundreds of Cameroon's Central African Republic Refugees Voluntarily Repatriate VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- Cameroonian and Central African Republic (CAR) officials greeted a group of about 200 CAR refugees Wednesday as they crossed the border and headed home.
- Pakistan, India Sign 'Historic' Deal to Open Border Crossing for Sikh Pilgrims VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- Pakistan and India signed a landmark agreement Thursday on the opening of a new border crossing for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of their holiest places in Pakistan.
- Away from Cross-border Fire, India, Pakistan Ink Historic Kartarpur Corridor Agreement Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- While relations between India and Pakistan have hit a new low since the 14 February terror attack on Indian troops and the decision by India to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Sikh pilgrims have been allowed to visit shrines across the neighbouring country's borders.
- 'Unique opportunity' to resolve border dispute between Sudan, South Sudan UN News 24 Oct 2019 -- Sudan and neighbouring South Sudan "have never been closer" to reaching a sustainable peace with each other, and their own internal armed opposition groups, the head of UN peacekeeping told the Security Council on Thursday.
- Russia to Continue Strengthening Africa's Stability, Ensuring Regional Security - Putin Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- Russia will continue its effort toward international strategic policy for strengthening Africa's stability and ensuring regional security, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday at the Russia-Africa Summit.
- China unlikely to trade with North Korea for rare mine: insider Global Times 24 Oct 2019 -- A reported deal under which China could tap a North Korea rare-earth mine in exchange for solar investment appears unlikely, as the deal is not "an optimal one" for China in terms of business aspects, industry insiders told the Global Times on Thursday.
- Pak Pong Ju Inspects Various Units KCNA 24 Oct 2019 -- Pak Pong Ju, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, vice-chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the WPK, inspected various units.
- South Korea Spokesman: North Korea Not Subject To UN Sanctions Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un reportedly stated on Wednesday that the South Korean-owned Mount Kumgang facilities should be demolished to make way for more modern architecture, saying that it was "mistake" to consider the resort ordinary property on North Korean soil.
- North Korea: Trump-Kim Relations Remain Special Despite 'Cold War' Mindset in Washington Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- The statement from Pyongyang comes against the backdrop of stalled negotiations between North Korea and the United States. The North called off the latest round of talks after it said the US brought "nothing to the negotiation table."
- North Korea Wants to See How Wise US Acts Amid Deadlocked Talks - Foreign Ministry Adviser Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- Kim Kye Gwan, an adviser to the North Korean Foreign Ministry, said in a statement on Thursday that Pyongyang wanted to see how wise the United States acts for overcoming obstacles in its relations with the Asian nation amid deadlocked denuclearization negotiations.
- Kim Kye Gwan, Adviser to DPRK Foreign Ministry, Issues Statement KCNA 24 Oct 2019 -- Kim Kye Gwan, adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, made public a statement on Oct. 24.
- US attempts to isolate Iran failed: President Rouhani Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- President Hassan Rouhani says the United States has failed in its attempts to deal a blow to Iran's global standing and isolate it, stressing the world knows well that enemy plots cannot bring the Iranian nation to its knees.
- Iran Sees Through Trump's War Threat 'Bluff', Defence Minister Says Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- Earlier, the US president warned that although he was "trying to get out of wars," if Iran did "something" they would be "hit like they've never been hit before."
- Saudi Foreign Minister Says 'Maximum Pressure' Only Way to Bring Iran to Negotiating Table - Reports Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- Oil facilities belonging to Saudi Aramco were attacked in mid-September, which resulted in a temporary sharp decrease in the kingdom's oil output. Yemen's rebel Houthi movement claimed responsibility for the attack. Riyadh blamed the incident on Iran, which, for its part, denied the allegations.
- Central govt reaffirms support for HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam Global Times 24 Oct 2019 -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry official on Thursday backed the Hong Kong chief executive at an international forum, refuting international media speculation that the central government was planning to replace Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
- Thousands Rally in Hong Kong to Stand With Catalan Independence Activists Radio Free Asia 24 Oct 2019 -- Thousands of people rallied in Hong Kong on Thursday in support of Catalunya, where pro-independence politicians were recently jailed for running a 2017 referendum without approval from Madrid.
- Outspoken Hong Kong Activist Says He is Barred From Election Bid VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- Joshua Wong, the 23-year-old poster boy for Hong Kong's ongoing anti-government protests, said Thursday that he is the only candidate for upcoming district elections who has been barred from running.
- 'We Will Stay Committed to Peaceful Forms of Protest' Radio Free Asia 24 Oct 2019 -- Bonnie Leung, international spokeswoman for Hong Kong march organizers the Civil Human Rights Front, traveled to Washington this week to receive a Citizen Power Award from the NGO Citizen Power for China. Leung will also be lobbying hard on behalf of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, as the Senate gets ready to debate a bill that would enable sanctions for officials deemed responsible for human rights violations there. Leung, a district councilor who got involved in politics during the 2014 Occupy Central movement, spoke to RFA's Mandarin Service about the group's goals for the months-long protests that have gripped the city since early June:
- HKSAR blasts Taipei for wrangling over suspect People's Daily 24 Oct 2019 -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government slammed Taiwan authorities for "irresponsible" handling of the voluntary surrender of Chan Tong-kai, 20, a Hong Kong resident and a suspect in a murder in Taiwan, whose case helped fuel months of social unrest in Hong Kong.
- Taiwan offers HK murder suspect 'contact channel' to expedite return CNA 24 Oct 2019 -- Taiwan's top official responsible for China affairs on Thursday said the government has established a single "contact channel" for a Hong Kong murder suspect to inform them when he is ready to surrender to local authorities.
- Boris Johnson frustrated over choosing Brexit vs. election Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- UK PM Boris Johnson has grown frustrated over whether to hold a snap election or try instead to push his Brexit-enabling withdrawal agreement bill through the House of Commons again.
- British PM Johnson, Stymied on Split from EU, Calls for Dec. 12 Election VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, stymied in his efforts to have Britain divorce itself from the European Union by next week, on Thursday called for a snap national election on Dec. 12 to give voters a chance to weigh in on protracted but indecisive wrangling over Brexit in parliament.
- Roscosmos Agrees to Reschedule Progress Cargo Craft Launch Following Request From NASA Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- Despite tensions between Moscow and Washington on issues ranging from NATO's eastward expansion to the US's recent withdrawal from a key strategic arms treaty, the Russian and US space agencies have continued to enjoy close cooperation, with NASA astronauts continuing to use Russian Soyuz shuttles to get to the International Space Station.
- Suspected Islamic State Recruiter Arrested In The Maldives RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- Police in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives have detained a local man who the United States says is a recruiter for the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
- Traditional foes Japan and South Korea agree to mend ties amid rows Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- Leaders of Japan and South Korea have agreed to mend ties amid a bitter feud over history and trade that has dragged bilateral relations to their worst in decades.
- Saudi king sacks foreign minister 10 months after his appointment Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- Saudi Arabia's King Salman has named Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud as the country's new foreign minister only 10 months after appointing his predecessor.
- Police Undergo Anti-Protest Training in Cambodia's Border Provinces as Sam Rainsy Return Draws Near Radio Free Asia 24 Oct 2019 -- Authorities in Cambodia's border provinces of Battambang and Mondulkiri have launched anti-protest training initiatives for members of the security forces, as the clock winds down on the planned return from exile next month of Sam Rainsy, the acting president of the country's banned opposition party.
- Bulgaria Overwhelmingly Approves Chief Prosecutor Nominee Amid Protests RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- Bulgaria's Supreme Judicial Council has overwhelmingly approved Ivan Geshev as the country's new chief prosecutor despite months of protests against his nomination, including a demonstration that blocked the streets of the capital as the meeting took place.
- U.S. Senators, Envoy Criticize Europe's Snub of North Macedonia and Albania RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- U.S. Senators and the nation's top envoy to the Western Balkans criticized the European Union for failing to start membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia, saying it opens the door for greater Russian influence.
- Bahrain's King Hamad, Israeli PM hold secret meeting in Hungary: Report Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah has reportedly held a secret meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu in Hungary, in the latest significant sign of warming ties between a number of Persian Gulf littoral states and the Tel Aviv regime after years of clandestine relations.
- Flight 'Laundering'? Mystery Private Jet Reportedly Travels From Israel to Saudi Arabia and Back Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- Saudi Arabia and Israel do not maintain official diplomatic relations, let alone a direct air link, so a journey from Tel Aviv to Riyadh by an unidentified individual or a group of individuals is by no means a negligible event.
- Netanyahu's Rival Gantz Approaches Nationalists in Bid to Form Governing Coalition Sputnik 24 Oct 2019 -- Former Israeli military chief Benny Gantz sought on Wednesday to woo nationalist leader and former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman in a bid to form a majority coalition.
- Aides: Jailed Ex-Pakistani PM Sharif's Health Deteriorating VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- Pakistan's jailed former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, is said to be suffering from "serious" health problems and his opposition political party is accusing the government of delaying treatment.
- No Grounds To Return PrivatBank To Ex-Owners, Ukrainian President Says RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's largest lender, PrivatBank, should not be returned to its former owners in any scenario, according to a statement on the presidential website.
- Lebanese president invites protesters to talk, hints at govt. reshuffle Press TV 24 Oct 2019 -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun has expressed his readiness for dialogue with anti-graft protesters to put an end to nationwide demonstrations and save the country from financial collapse.
- U.S. Senators, Envoy Criticize EU's Snub Of North Macedonia And Albania RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- U.S. senators and the country's top envoy to the Western Balkans have criticized the European Union for failing to start membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia, saying it opens the door for greater Russian influence.
- A Strange Affair: Businessman Claims Uzbek Generals Plotted To Overthrow President, Kill Premier RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- A prominent businessman -- freshly released from prison -- has made an extraordinary claim at a posh hotel press conference about an alleged coup plot in the Uzbek capital some eight years ago, while also making sure to heap praise on the country's current president.
- Egypt, Ethiopia Follow Diplomatic Route Over River Nile Water-Sharing VOA 24 Oct 2019 -- Both Egypt and Ethiopia are working to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict over water-sharing as construction of the Renaissance Dam on the River Nile nears completion. The leaders of both countries are due to discuss their differences Thursday at an African summit in the Russian resort town of Sochi.
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