23 December 2019 Military News
- Service Member Killed in Afghanistan, US Military Says VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- The U.S. military has announced that a U.S. service member was killed in action Monday in Afghanistan.
- Taliban Reportedly Claim Responsibility for Attack That Killed US Service Member in Afghanistan Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- The incident comes amid escalating tensions in the country due to the presidential elections on Sunday. It also comes just one day after the Taliban* allegedly agreed on a nationwide ceasefire.
- Afghan election run-off likely amid thousands of complaints Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Afghanistan's Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) says there is a "strong possibility" that the presidential election would go to a second round as it starts reviewing thousands of complaints.
- Taliban target US convoy in N Afghanistan, kill American soldier amid fresh peace talks Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- The Taliban militant group has carried out a bomb attack against an American convoy in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz Province, killing a US soldier, only weeks after the two sides restarted stalled peace negotiations.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Air Forces Africa establishes Cadre of African Bridge Advisors US Air Force 23 Dec 2019 -- U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa recently implemented a new program, Air Forces Africa Cadre of African Bridge Advisors, across the command aimed at improving the cultural and language gap when operating in Africa.
- AFCENT commander highlights importance of interoperability, collective defense at Air Chiefs Conference CENTCOM 23 Dec 2019 -- Three themes serve as the underpinnings of successful deterrence against malign actors and the ability to conduct collective defense among coalition nations in the Middle East, said Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella Jr., commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, in an address at the 2019 Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference here, Nov. 16, 2019.
- Acting SECNAV Names Two Newest Virginia-Class Subs for Greatest-Gen Heroes of Pearl Harbor NNS 23 Dec 2019 -- The Navy will name its two newest Virginia-class (SSN 774) fast-attack nuclear submarines after the American heroes of the Greatest Generation who perished in the former USS Oklahoma (BB-37) and USS Arizona (BB-39), bringing those hallowed names back into active-duty service after more than three quarters of a century.
- Truman Begins Operations in U.S. 5th Fleet Area NNS 23 Dec 2019 -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), the Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG-8) flagship, conducted maritime security and flight operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) Dec. 20, continuing carrier presence in the region.
- NSWC Dahlgren Division Laboratory Recertified to Impact Fleet, Homeland Defense NNS 23 Dec 2019 -- The impact of an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) audit reaccrediting the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Sample Standards Laboratory is significant to national defense, NSWCDD officials announced, Dec. 19.
- New NIWC Atlantic 'Marine Corps 101' Training Drives Joint Integration NNS 23 Dec 2019 -- New professionals and old-timers alike from a Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic intelligence division are asking questions during newly formed workshops designed to help them understand and better anticipate Marines' needs.
- Digital engineering transformation coming to Air Force weapons enterprise US Air Force 23 Dec 2019 -- The Air Force kicked off a pioneering Weapons Digital Enterprise Workshop Dec. 9 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, to solidify ties with the Air Force and Department of Defense digital enterprises to develop advanced capabilities and enable rapid design of weapons and assessment of their impact on military operations.
- Air Force, Navy, Army conduct first 'real world' test of Advanced Battle Management System US Air Force 23 Dec 2019 -- In the first field test of a novel approach to warfighting, communicating and decision-making, the Air Force, Navy and Army used new methods and technology Dec. 16-18 for collecting, analyzing and sharing information in real time to identify and defeat a simulated cruise missile threat to the United States.
- IWTC Virginia Beach Delivers First IS25 Operations Intelligence "C" School Sailors to Fleet NNS 23 Dec 2019 -- Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach graduated seven intelligence specialists (IS), Dec. 18, from the first convening of the Operational Intelligence Analyst "C" school (OPINTEL C) course, culminating over a year of curriculum development, testing, and piloting of the new Block 2 course, supporting the chief of naval operations' Sailor 2025 initiative and related Ready, Relevant Learning (RRL) continuum.
- Russian Military Receives First Set of Newest S-350 Vityaz Air Defence System Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- Russia's Almaz-Antey arms producer has delivered to the Defence Ministry the first set of the newest S-350 Vityaz long-range air defence missile weapon system, the company said on Monday.
- China drafts law to control arms sales Global Times 23 Dec 2019 -- China is reviewing a draft law that will see arms sale properly controlled, a measure that comes at a time when Beijing is beginning to master world-leading military technologies which should not fall into the wrong hands, experts said on Monday.
- China Creates Alcohol-Driven UAV Capable of Staying In Flight For 12 Hours - Reports Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- In late October, Chinese aerospace company Rainbow UAV Technology stated that its newest Rainbow-4 drone, equipped with upgraded electronic payloads and satellite controls, had successfully passed test flights.
- Video Shows First Chinese Jet Takeoff From New Shandong Carrier Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- Both the J-15 fighter jets and the new carrier are based on Soviet weapon design, which is also used in the Russian Armed Forces. This is the first carrier China has completely built on its own.
- Exporting BrahMos to Any Countries Including Philippines Has 'In-Principal' Approval From Russia Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- The Philippines is one of the Southeast Asian countries that have territorial disputes with Beijing over the South China Sea. Manila is hopeful that it will conclude a negotiation related to BrahMos with India in 2020. As per the Philippine military, the BrahMos will be "the first Philippine weaponry with deterrent capability".
- India Successfully Test-Fires Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile - Video Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted the fourth test of a missile system shortly after the Indian Army chief warned of a potential escalation on the border with Pakistan.
- Senior State Department Official On State Department 2019 Successes in the Middle East US Dept. of State 23 Dec 2019 -- Special Briefing
- Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker On State Department 2019 Successes in the Middle East US Dept. of State 23 Dec 2019 -- Special Briefing by David Schenker, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
- State Department Officials On the Antiterrorism Assistance Explosive Detection Canine Program US Dept. of State 23 Dec 2019 -- Special Briefing
- 23 December 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 23 Dec 2019
- Why Old Friends China, Malaysia Suddenly Disagree over Tract of Sea VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- China and Malaysia, old friends with a complex trade and investment relationship, are disagreeing over Malaysia's rights to extend sovereignty into part of a disputed sea that's rich in fossil fuel reserves.
- Yemenis capable of dealing major blows to invading enemy: Iran's defense minister Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Iran's defense minister says Yemen's armed forces have become self-sufficient in producing their needed equipment and are currently capable of dealing blows deep within the ranks of enemy forces.
- UN relief chief condemns attacks against humanitarian premises in Yemen UN News 23 Dec 2019 -- The top UN humanitarian official has called for a thorough investigation into weekend attacks against the premises of three international aid organizations in Yemen that wounded one person, in addition to damaging property.
- Syrian forces take control of strategic village as army advances in Idlib Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Syrian government troops and allied fighters from popular defense groups continue to score more territorial gains in the country's northern province of Idlib, the last major stronghold of foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants.
- Syrian Armed Forces Enter Jarjanaz in Province of Idlib Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- The Syrian Armed Forces on Monday entered the town of Jarjanaz in the Syrian province of Idlib, a Sputnik correspondent confirmed.
- Militants Attempted to Attack Russian Airbase in Syria with Drones - Russian Reconciliation Centre Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- For months, militants have continued their attempts to attack Russian facilities from the Idlib de-escalation zone but Russian air defence systems repelled the attacks, according to Russian defence ministry's reports.
- Food Shortages in Two Rakhine Villages as Myanmar's Military Seizes Only Bridge in or Out Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2019 -- A blockade by Myanmar's military is causing food shortages for 500 people living in two sealed-off villages as fighting rages on in the country's western Rakhine state.
- Putin officially unveils Crimea rail bridge, prompts EU denunciation Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially opened a rail route linking Russia's two biggest cities to Crimea, which rejoined the Russian Federation in 2014.
- Amid Western Condemnation, Putin Opens Crimea Bridge To Rail Traffic RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken part in a ceremony officially opening a controversial bridge from mainland Russia to the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula to rail traffic.
- OSCE Says Ukraine Prisoner Swap Agreed 'By End Of Year' RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- Special OSCE representative in Ukraine Martin Sajdik has announced that a trilateral forum on the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine has "reached an agreement on a mutual release and exchange of conflict-related detainees by the end of the year."
- UN: Civilians Caught in Eastern Ukrainian Conflict VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- A report by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights finds civilians in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine remain at risk of human rights violations and death despite an easing of hostilities between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed rebels in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
- Poland, Russia Again In War Of Words Over World War II RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- A war of words has intensified between Poland and Russia over who is to blame for starting World War II, with each accusing the other of distorting history.
- US Senate Leader Not Ruling out Witnesses in Trump Impeachment Trial VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- U.S. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans have not ruled out calling witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
- Senate's Top Democrat Pushes For Fresh Witnesses At Trump Impeachment Trial RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- A top Democrat has said a newly released e-mail on the withholding of U.S. aid to Ukraine underscores the need for new witnesses at President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.
- Russia Carries Out Drills To Ensure Internet 'Integrity' RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- Russia has carried out what it described as exercises to ensure the security of its Internet infrastructure as part of measures that activists say could tighten censorship.
- Russian PM Says U.S. Sanctions 'No Big Deal' To Nord Stream Gas Project RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said the contentious Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline might be delayed by a couple months due to fresh U.S. sanctions against the project but there's nothing "catastrophic" about the situation.
- Popular chat app is UAE government spy tool: NY Times Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- American intelligence assessment and a New York Times investigation have revealed that the government of the United Arab Emirates uses the popular messaging application, ToTok, as a spying tool.
- In talks with China's Xi, S Korea's Moon voices concern over stalled N Korea-US talks Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has expressed concern over stalled denuclearization talks on the Korean Peninsula as well as a recent flare-up of tensions between the United States and North Korea.
- Fears growing of war with N Korea as US says ready 'to fight tonight' Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Fears are growing of a total war with North Korea over its threat of a "Christmas surprise" for the US, with Washington saying it is well prepared to respond.
- Rights Monitor Group Tracking 60,000 North Korean Workers in Northeastern China Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2019 -- As the Dec. 22 deadline for U.N. member states including Russia and China to send home all North Korean workers toiling to send foreign currency to the Pyongyang regime passed, a South Korean rights group said it is monitoring the repatriation efforts in the region.
- North Korea May Be Misreading the 2020 US Election, Analysts Warn VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- With North Korea signaling bigger provocations in 2020, some analysts worry the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, could overplay his hand and make a dangerous miscalculation, especially if Kim believes he can affect U.S. President Donald Trump's reelection chances.
- Iran launches secondary circuit of Arak heavy water reactor IRNA 23 Dec 2019 -- The first phase of installing equipment in the secondary circuit of Iran's Arak heavy water nuclear reactor became operational on Monday in the presence of Iran's nuclear chief Ali-Akbar Salehi.
- Secondary circuit of Arak nuclear reactor to be operational today: AEOI chief ISNA 23 Dec 2019 -- The site of heat exchangers and the middle pool of the secondary circuit of Arak heavy water nuclear reactor was inaugurated on Monday.
- Iran opens secondary circuit of Arak heavy water reactor Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- The secondary circuit of Iran's Arak heavy water reactor was to become operational on Monday, cutting further delays in the plant's reconfiguration by signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal.
- Iran Shows Off New Stage At Arak Nuclear Plant RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- Iranian nuclear officials say they have switched on a modified part of the Arak heavy-water reactor in a step that could reportedly take the country closer toward weapons-grade levels of plutonium but does not breach its four-year-old nuclear deal with world powers.
- Iran rules out allegations of European Parliament IRNA 23 Dec 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday dismissed the European Parliament's anti-Iran resolution as hasty, distortion of realities and unconstructive.
- US has no choice but to abandon maximum pressure on Iran: President Rouhani ISNA 23 Dec 2019 -- Referring to the developing relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and India, President Hassan Rouhani stressed more efforts to deepen Tehran-New Delhi relations.
- Iran warns against Europe's procrastination in saving JCPOA Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- The Iranian administration's spokesman says the European parties to a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran can prevent the country from further reducing its nuclear commitments only by remaining fully committed to their obligations.
- Report: Iran's Supreme Leader Ordered 'Whatever It Takes' To End Protests RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- Reuters has quoted unnamed senior sources near the Iranian supreme leader's "inner circle" as saying 80-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered a nearly boundless crackdown as anti-government protests gained momentum last month, warning assembled officials they would be held responsible if the street unrest did not stop.
- US Confirms Report Citing Iran Officials as Saying 1,500 Killed in Protests VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- The United States has confirmed a news report citing unnamed Iranian officials as saying about 1,500 people were killed in a crackdown by security forces on anti-government protests last month.
- Iranian FM Zarif Says Washington Developed 'Pathological, Reckless Addiction' to Sanctions Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- Washington reimposed tough new economic sanctions on Tehran after unilaterally quitting the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear pact last year. The US launched a massive pressure campaign against Iran, reinforcing its military presence in the Persian Gulf and fomenting increasing tension in the Middle East.
- China, Japan, S.Korea strengthen relations in trilateral summit Global Times 23 Dec 2019 -- Top leaders of China, Japan and South Korea met for a summit in Beijing on Monday.
- Xi meets ROK president, calling for advancing bilateral ties People's Daily 23 Dec 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met with President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Moon Jae-in Monday in Beijing, calling for joint efforts to lift bilateral ties to a higher level.
- Central govt appointing young HK officials to UN a breakthrough: Lam Global Times 23 Dec 2019 -- The central government of China has appointed five Hong Kong young civil servants to work in the United Nations (UN), which is a breakthrough for the city of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said on Monday.
- Thousands Rally in Hong Kong After Police Freeze Crowd-Funded Millions Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2019 -- Thousands of Hongkongers rallied in a mass downtown protest at the freezing of funds by the authorities that were raised to provide legal assistance to arrested protesters.
- Beijing Denies Report of 'Forced Labor' Hidden in Christmas Card Made in China Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2019 -- China on Monday denied using forced prison labor after a note from a prisoner was reportedly found inside a Christmas card in the U.K.
- Chinese Company Rejects Forced Labor Claims Prompted by UK Christmas Card Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- A Chinese company has denied using forced prison labor to manufacture Christmas cards for British supermarket Tesco after a six-year-old girl in England found a note in one of the cards allegedly written by a Chinese inmate looking for help.
- China refutes forced foreign labor claims at Shanghai prison Global Times 24 Dec 2019 -- Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday refuted British media reports that claim foreign prisoners were used as forced laborers at Shanghai Qingpu Prison, saying the claim was a farce created by a former British journalist who served a prison term in China.
- Saudi court releases MBS aides in Khashoggi murder trial Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor says two top figures, including Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who were investigated in the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year, had been exonerated and released.
- Public Prosecutor Issues a Statement Regarding the Murder of Citizen Jamal Khashoggi SPA 23 Dec 2019 -- Following up on the previous statements issued by the Public Prosecutor on 19/10/2018 and 25/10/2018 and 15/11/2018 and 13/1/2019 regarding the murder of citizen Jamal bin Ahmed bin Hamza Khashoggi (may his soul Rest In Peace).
- Saudi Arabia Sentences 5 to Death for Khashoggi Killing VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced five people to death and three others to prison in connection with last year's killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.
- Deputy Public Prosecutor : The defendants in the Khashoggi killing case were heard in nine sessions and the verdict was issued in the tenth session SPA 23 Dec 2019 -- Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheikh Shalaan bin Rajeh bin Shaalan has confirmed that all those suspected of murdering citizen Jamal bin Ahmed Khashoggi were investigated by the Public Prosecution and those who were found guilty were referred to the court; and whoever was not found guilty for the lack of evidence was released through the prosecution or through the court.
- Five People Sentenced to Death for Khashoggi's Murder - Saudi Arabia's Public Prosecutor Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- Saudi authorities have charged 11 people with Khashoggi's murder but Riyadh has repeatedly denied allegations that any members of the royal family were involved in the incident.
- Modi's BJP loses elections in India's Jharkhand state Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost elections in the eastern state of Jharkhand.
- India's Ruling BJP Suffers Poll Setback in Jharkhand State; Gets Booted иy Opposition JMM Party Sputnik 23 Dec 2019 -- Monday's poll result saw Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) emerging as the single largest political party in the mineral-rich state's assembly election. A five-phase election to elect members to the 81-seat Jharkhand legislature was held from 30 November to 20 December.
- Indian PM refutes discrimination in citizenship amendment act People's Daily 23 Dec 2019 -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday refuted allegations that his government is discriminatory in the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which has triggered massive protests nationwide.
- Indian Muslims brandish natl. flag, say their protest not anti-India Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Indian Muslims protesting against the country's recent citizenship law, which they consider discriminatory, have been carrying national flags and copies of the constitution, stressing that their protest rallies are against the biased law, not India.
- India's Main Opposition Protests New Law VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- Nearly 2,000 people took to the streets of India's capital city Monday in a silent protest organized by opposition parties against the controversial citizenship bill that critics say discriminates against Muslims.
- Iraqi Politicians Miss Deadline for New Prime Minister VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- Thousands of Iraqis protested Monday in Baghdad and other parts of the country after politicians missed an overnight deadline for naming a new prime minister.
- Turkey detains mayor from pro-Kurdish opposition party over PKK affiliation Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Turkey has arrested a mayor from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) on charges of links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group and "disseminating terror propaganda."
- Chilean president signs off on constitutional change referendum Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- Chile's President Sebastian Pinera on Monday signed off on a referendum to be held on a new constitution, which he vowed would generate a "solid, compassionate and legitimate framework" that would help reunify the country after nine weeks of intense protest over inequality and elitism.
- Venezuela: Opposition-linked elements launch deadly attack on military outpost Press TV 23 Dec 2019 -- The Venezuelan defense chief says "extremist opposition sectors" have attacked a military unit near the border with Brazil, killing one soldier and stealing a large number of weapons before being chased down by police and military forces.
- Azerbaijanis Vote In Municipal Elections RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- Votes are being counted following the close of voting in Azerbaijan in municipal elections that are being boycotted by some of the oil- and gas-rich Caspian country's main opposition parties.
- Bosnian Parliament Breaks 14-Month Impasse, OKs Government RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- Lawmakers in Bosnia-Herzegovina have approved a new government, breaking a 14-month stalemate since inconclusive general elections and disagreements over possible NATO membership left the ethnically divided Balkan state without a Council of Ministers.
- Tycoon At Center Of Kyrgyz Corruption Scandal Poured Millions Into EU, U.S. Real Estate RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- A Central Asian cargo tycoon at the center of controversy in Kyrgyzstan over massive sums spirited out of the country has invested tens of millions of dollars in European and U.S. real estate, a new investigation by RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, OCCRP, and the Kyrgyz news site Kloop has found.
- OSCE: 'Serious Irregularities' In Uzbek Vote, But 'Greater Tolerance Of Independent Voices' RFE/RL 23 Dec 2019 -- The Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (LDPU) came out the winner from Uzbekistan's parliamentary elections that Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers said were marred by "serious irregularities" amid changes allowing "greater tolerance of independent voices."
- Democratic Developments in Georgia US Dept. of State 23 Dec 2019
- Mozambique's Elections US Dept. of State 23 Dec 2019
- Inescapable Effects of Climate Change Jeopardize Livelihoods Across East Africa VOA 23 Dec 2019 -- As the Earth heats up, weather and climate patterns are changing dramatically around the globe. Africa felt the effects of those changes in 2019, experiencing cyclones, droughts and unstoppable rains that jeopardized livelihoods.
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