22 December 2019 Military News
- Afghanistan's incumbent president wins election, disgruntled rival rejects result, again Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Afghanistan's incumbent President Ashraf Ghani has won the country's presidential election with a slim majority.
- Ghani Set To Win Second Term As Afghan President RFE/RL 22 Dec 2019 -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appears set to win a second term after Afghan election officials announced he had won 50.6 percent of the preliminary vote count.
- Afghan President leads election; UN mission chief urges all to 'safeguard' final stage of process UN News 22 Dec 2019 -- Welcoming the preliminary results for Afghanistan's presidential election on Sunday, the head of the United Nations mission in the country urged the authorities and all actors to "protect the integrity of the final stage of the process."
- Afghanistan's Ghani Wins Majority in Bitterly Contested Polls VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- Afghanistan's incumbent President Ashraf Ghani has apparently won a second five-year term based on preliminary results announced Sunday for the disputed September 28 presidential vote.
- Al-Shabab Attack Kills 8 as US Launches Record Airstrikes in 2019 VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb that targeted military commanders in the central Somali town of Galkayo, killing at least eight people and wounding 55 others Saturday evening.
Defense Policy / Programs
- US Navy Bans Chinese App TikTok Over Cybersecurity Concerns - Report Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- The Pentagon did not elaborate what cybersecurity threats the Chinese video sharing app presents. The US Navy follows in the footsteps of the US Army, after it also banned the use of Tiktok.
- KC-46A Pegasus completes first around-the-world flight US Air Force 22 Dec 2019 -- A KC-46A Pegasus crew from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing completed the aircraft's first flight around the world Nov. 26.
- British PM Hails NATO, Says He Seeks Better Russia Relations RFE/RL 22 Dec 2019 -- During a visit to Estonia on December 21, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he believes NATO has been the most successful military alliance of the past 500 years and that it has a "great future."
- Russia prepared to include strategic weapons in possible new START with US: FM Lavrov Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, says his country is ready to include two of its strategic weapons - the heavy Sarmat missile and the Avangard hypersonic missile – in a possible renewal of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the United States.
- Russia Ready to Show Sarmat Missile System to US, Include it in New START Treaty - Lavrov Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- Russia has already presented to the United States its new Avangard missile system, and will later show another one, dubbed Sarmat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday during a televised show.
- Advanced supply ship conducts carrier group supplement mission Global Times 22 Dec 2019 -- China's latest domestically developed comprehensive supply ship conducted its first aircraft carrier battle group supplement mission during a high sea exercise, prompting experts to say that Chinese aircraft carriers are ready to sail farther into deep blue waters.
- China's 10,000 ton-class destroyer equipped with long-range land-attack missiles Global Times 22 Dec 2019 -- China's latest 10,000 ton-class guided missile destroyer, the Type 055, is capable of launching long-range land-attack cruise missiles, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy revealed as experts said on Sunday the new weapon could let the destroyer launch more precise attacks against land targets at greater range.
- North Korea considers boosting military as deadline for US nears Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has held a meeting with his top military officials to discuss boosting the country's military capabilities, as a deadline for the United States to grant concessions and reactivate demilitarization talks nears.
- M1A2 tanks to serve as last line of defense: scholar CNA 22 Dec 2019 -- The addition of U.S-made M1A2 Abrams battle tanks will serve as the last line of defense should enemy forces land on Taiwan, a military expert said Sunday.
- New F-16Vs to deter Chinese from east: experts CNA 22 Dec 2019 -- The upcoming addition of 66 F-16 C/D Block 70 fighter jets, commonly known as the F-16Vs, to Taiwan's air force, will be posted in eastern Taiwan to boost the military's defense capability against Chinese aircraft carriers, defense specialists told CNA Saturday.
- Turkey to increase military support to Libya if necessary: President Erdogan Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey will increase its military support to Libya's internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) if necessary and will evaluate military options there.
- Turkey has alternatives to meet own defense needs, Parliament speaker says Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop says Ankara has alternative partners to meet its own defense needs, arguing that Washington has long exploited the threat of sanctions to put psychological pressure on world states.
- Remarks by President Trump at Turning Point USA Student Action Summit | West Palm Beach, FL The White House 22 Dec 2019
- 'Qualification Passport' Enables Refugees to Study, Work in Countries of Exile VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- UNESCO, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization reports it is expanding its so-called Qualification Passport program, which enables refugees and vulnerable migrants to continue their studies or get employment in countries of exile.
- Syrian air defenses repel Israeli missile attack Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Syrian air defense forces have repelled an attack launched from "the occupied territories", according to Syrian state media.
- Syrian army troops clear more villages of Takfiri terrorists in Idlib Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Syrian government military troops have liberated more areas in the northwestern province of Idlib from the grip of foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants, as they are tightening the noose around the extremists operating in the region.
- Syrian Government Army Takes Control of Flashpoint Idlib Village Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- The Syrian government has reclaimed control of Alteh, a flashpoint village in the Idlib province, according to a source in the Syrian military.
- Turkey's Erdogan Warns Europe Of New Syrian Migrants, Awaits Russian Talks RFE/RL 22 Dec 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned of the effects on Europe of a new influx of conflict-driven migration as people flee Russian and Syrian bombardments in northwestern Syria.
- Daesh rears head again amid unrest in Iraq, kills four policemen Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Daesh terrorists have killed four police officers at a checkpoint in Iraq's Salahuddin province after reports that the US and its regional allies were trying to facilitate the resurgence of the Takfiri outfit in the Arab country.
- Haftar's forces capture Turkish ship after defense pact signed by Libya rivals Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Eastern forces loyal to Libya's self-styled commander Khalifa Haftar have seized a Turkish ship shortly after Turkey's parliament approved a defense pact in support of his rival in the North African country's civil war.
- Libyan National Army Says Ship With Turkish Crew on Board Detained Off Libyan Coast Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- The Libyan National Army (LNA) forces seized a ship with a Turkish crew off the Libyan coast, the LNA's press service said on Sunday.
- Netanyahu on War Crimes Probe: ICC a 'Weapon in Political War Against Israel' Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, on Friday announced that she would start an investigation into Palestinian claims that Israel had committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
- More Than 2 Million Palestinians in Occupied Territories Face Humanitarian Crisis VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- The United Nations reports more than two million Palestinians in the occupied territories are facing a humanitarian crisis, and $348 million is urgently needed to provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable.
- Israel fears ICC could hunt its top leaders for war crimes Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- A recent decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch a full investigation into war crimes in Palestinian territories has raised alarm among current and former Israeli officials and military personnel, who may face global arrest warrants as a result of the probe.
- Sudanese Attorney General Launches Darfur War Crimes Investigation - Reports Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- Sudanese Attorney General Taj al-Sir al-Hibr announced the launching of an investigation into possible war crimes by ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Darfur which led to the death of up to 300,000 people, al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper reported Sunday.
- Pulwama-like Attack on Army Vehicle Foiled on Baramulla-Uri Highway in Jammu and Kashmir Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and the attacker died in a blast on a highway in the Pulwama area of Indian-administered Kashmir on 14 February. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
- In Removal Of Plaques Marking Katyn Massacre, Critics See Russian Campaign To Rewrite History RFE/RL 22 Dec 2019 -- The historic building on Soviet Street is now dedicated to the practice of saving lives. But some still recall a time when it served the opposite purpose.
- 'White House ordered freeze on Ukraine aid 90 mins after Trump call to Zelensky' Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- The administration of US President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to freeze $391 million of military aid to Ukraine less than two hours after the controversial phone call in which Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, according to newly released internal emails.
- At Least 1 Soldier Killed As Venezuelan Opposition Attacks Military Unit - Caracas Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- The Venezuelan Defence Ministry on Sunday said that one of its military units was raided in the southern part of the country by what it described as elements of a radicalized opposition, claiming that attackers attempted to rob an ammunition depot.
- Netanyahu rejoices as UAE FM supports Israel-Arab alliance Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- The UAE minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation has tweeted an article supporting an alliance between Arab countries and Israel, receiving an immediate welcome from prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
- Netanyahu Applauds UAE Foreign Minister's Tweet Supporting Israeli-Gulf State Pact Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- Rumours of Tel Aviv's interest in some sort of alliance with the Gulf States began swirling in 2018, when Prime Minister Netanyahu said his country might join an anti-Iranian Arab coalition if Tehran tried to block the southern entrance to the Red Sea.
- Defiant Lavrov Says U.S. Sanctions Won't Stop Russian Pipelines RFE/RL 22 Dec 2019 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has insisted that the Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream gas pipeline projects will be launched despite recently announced U.S. sanctions.
- Working on 'Christmas Gift'? New Work Reported at North Korean Factory Linked to Long-Range Missiles Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- North Korea has suspended its tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, but that halt doesn't apply to medium- and short-range missiles. US analysts suggest that the "Christmas gift" North Korea has recently threatened refers to a resumption of long-range ballistic missile tests.
- Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Guides Enlarged Meeting of WPK CMC KCNA 22 Dec 2019 -- The Third Enlarged Meeting of the Seventh Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) took place.
- Iran getting delivery of 3 new Airbus planes: Minister Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Iran's transportation minister says 3 new Airbus planes are being delivered to the country.
- Zarif: US approach to sanctions 'pathological and reckless addiction' Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Washington's hostile policy of imposing sanctions is indicative of a "reckless addiction" that the White House has toward not only Iran but also other world countries.
- Iran to take 5th JCPOA step if Europe fails to fulfill commitments: Shamkhani Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- A senior Iranian official has warned that the Islamic Republic would take the fifth step of scaling back its commitments under a landmark nuclear deal it clinched with major world powers in 2015 if the European signatories to the accord did not take practical measures to salvage it.
- Iran investing over $1.5bn on gas network in deprived region Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Iran's Oil Ministry is investing more than $1.5 billion on completing the national gas grid in the deprived and remote regions bordering Pakistan.
- Trump, Abe Discuss Iran In Phone Call Following Rohani's Visit To Japan RFE/RL 22 Dec 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about Iran, North Korea, and trade, the White House said late on December 21.
- Hong Kong Protesters Backing Uyghurs Clash With Police RFE/RL 22 Dec 2019 -- Police in Hong Kong skirmished with protesters on December 22 at a rally of several hundred people in support of China's Uyghur minority, millions of whom have reportedly been victims of an internment scheme in the northwestern Chinese territory of Xinjiang.
- China's Plan in Xinjiang Seen as Key Factor in Uighur Crackdown VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- While the international attention on China's treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang has focused mainly on ethnic and religious issues, Beijing's economic development plans in the strategic region also play a key role in shaping the conflict, some experts and observers say.
- Beijing slams US over defense act clauses Global Times 22 Dec 2019 -- China on Saturday voiced strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to negative clauses on Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang in the US 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
- Trade war makes China stronger Global Times 22 Dec 2019 -- China is emerging stronger after the 18-month-long China-US trade war, according to a survey conducted by the Global Times recently. It also showed that the trade friction that the US launched against other countries, plus other US bulling moves, is eroding the US government's global influence.
- Boeing to Review Starliner Mission Data to Determine Future of Crewed Flight Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- Boeing will have to do a full review of data collected from the aborted uncrewed mission to the International Space Station to determine the future of the manned test, its senior official said Sunday.
- Cuba names first prime minister in over 40 years Press TV 22 Dec 2019 -- Manuel Marrero Cruz has been named Cuba's prime minister, taking a political post that had been abolished more than four decades ago.
- Cuban Parliament Names Manuel Marrero to Be Country's First Prime Minister Since 1976 Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- The Cuban parliament on Saturday confirmed Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero as the new prime minister of the Caribbean island nation.
- 17 Dead, 705 Reportedly Arrested Amid Anti-Citizenship Act Violence Spree in India's Uttar Pradesh Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- The wave of protests against India's new citizenship law continues to send ripples, with country-wide agitations entering their twelfth day. Despite measures put in place to curb the protests, the violence has erupted in several parts of the country over the past week.
- Modi Defends India Citizenship Law as Protests Continue VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- Protests against a controversial citizenship bill in India continued Sunday despite a government ban against demonstrations.
- Women at Center Stage in Protests Against India's Citizenship Law VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- Chanting "freedom," Fozia stands among the sea of student protesters in New Delhi loudly demanding that the government scrap a new law that introduces religion as a criterion for citizenship for persecuted minorities from three neighboring countries.
- Iraqis Protest In Streets Ahead Of Prime Ministerial Deadline RFE/RL 22 Dec 2019 -- Thousands of Iraqis protested in the capital and in southern Iraqi cities on December 22 ahead of a midnight deadline to pick an interim prime minister, saying the current nominee is too friendly with Tehran.
- Thousands Protest in Iraq Ahead of Deadline to Name New PM VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets Sunday ahead of a midnight deadline to name an interim prime minister.
- Pakistan to Answer 150 Questions by FATF on Compliance Report to Avoid Terror Financing Blacklist Sputnik 22 Dec 2019 -- Facing the risk of being placed on a blacklist alongside Iran and North Korea by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, Pakistan submitted a compliance report on 3 December to showcase its efforts to change the country's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws.
- Are We Seeing Part 2 of the Arab Spring? VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- Dramatic changes jolted the Arab world in 2019 after veteran Arab leaders in Algeria and Sudan were forced to step down amid widespread popular protests. Similar protests later erupted in Iraq and Lebanon, forcing forced prime ministers to step down and threatening to erode their strong ties to Iran. Meanwhile, in Libya and Yemen, turmoil continued unabated.
- Vote-Counting Begins In Uzbekistan After First Polls Of Mirziyoev Era RFE/RL 22 Dec 2019 -- Votes are being tallied after Uzbekistan's first parliamentary elections since President Shavkat Mirziyoev came to power nearly three years ago.
- Croatia's Presidential Hopefuls to Face Runoff Election VOA 22 Dec 2019 -- Croatia's conservative president trailed her leftist rival in Sunday's election, but garnered enough votes to force a runoff early next year.
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