31 December 2019 Military News
- SD Statement on Deployment of 82nd Airborne Division DoD 31 Dec 2019 -- "''At the direction of the Commander in Chief, I have authorized the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the 82nd Airborne Division to the U.S. Central Command area of operations in response to recent events in Iraq."
- DOD Statement on Iraq From Secretary Esper DoD 31 Dec 2019
- Pentagon deploying extra troops to Baghdad after embassy attack by protesters Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has announced that the United States is sending additional troops to Baghdad to provide security for the American embassy there following an attack by protesters.
- Secretary Pompeo's Calls with Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi and President Salih US Dept. of State 31 Dec 2019
- US Embassy in Iraq evacuated amid angry protests over airstrike on PMU Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- The United States' Embassy in Baghdad has been evacuated after thousands of angry Iraqi demonstrators gathered outside the gates of the compound to condemn Washington's fatal military aggression that targeted Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).
- Injuries Reported After Protesters Storm U.S. Embassy Compound In Iraq Following Strikes RFE/RL 31 Dec 2019 -- Protesters have stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to condemn recent U.S. air strikes that killed at least 25 members of an Iran-backed militant group, causing Iraqi security forces and compound guards to fire tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.
- Iraqi National Security Council Vows to Revise Ties With Intl Coalition, US Forces Sputnik 31 Dec 2019 -- The Pentagon claimed earlier it had carried out "defensive strikes" against five Kata'ib Hezbollah facilities in Iraq and Syria in an alleged response to a rocket attack on Friday that killed a US contractor at a Kirkuk base north of Baghdad.
- Iraqi Protesters Attack US Embassy Compound in Baghdad VOA 31 Dec 2019 -- Hundreds of Iraqi protesters stormed the perimeter of the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, setting fire to one of its gates with some reportedly entering the building. Most of those involved in the attack appear to belong to pro-Iranian Shi'ite parties, which are upset about a U.S. airstrike on a pro-Iranian Kataeb Hezbollah militia base in the Iraqi border town of al-Qaim, which killed at least 25 people.
- Iraqi Politicians Condemn US Strike on Pro-Iran Shi'ite Militia VOA 31 Dec 2019 -- Multiple Iraqi politicians condemned U.S. airstrikes on the pro-Iranian Shi'ite Kataib Hezbollah militia Sunday, which left 25 dead and over 50 wounded, according to Iraqi government TV. Local reports say the group is becoming increasingly unpopular with large segments of the Iraqi public. Iraq's Parliament met Monday to debate the U.S.'s action, but failed to muster a quorum.
- Iraq to summon U.S. ambassador over attack on Hashd Shaabi bases People's Daily 31 Dec 2019 -- The Iraqi Foreign Ministry announced Monday that it will summon the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad over U.S. attacks that killed 25 people and injured 51 others.
- Iraq's Sadr says ready to work with Hashd al-Sha'abi to end US presence Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- Senior Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says he is willing to work with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) -- better known as Hashd al-Sha'abi -- to end the United States military presence in Iraq through political and legal means.
- IRGC Slams US Airstrikes in Iraq, Says People, PMF 'Reserve the Right to Retaliate' - Report Sputnik 31 Dec 2019 -- On Sunday, US forces conducted airstrikes targeting five facilities of the Kata'ib Hezbollah, a Shia militia claimed to be part of the Iraqi government-allied Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq and Syria, leaving at least 25 people dead and over 50 others injured.
Defense Policy / Programs
- 2nd Fleet Declares Full Operational Capability NNS 31 Dec 2019 -- Seven months after reaching initial operational capability, U.S. 2nd Fleet achieved full operational capability Dec. 31.
- 'A Formidable Force': China's Rapidly Modernizing PLAN Has More Ships Than US Navy Sputnik 31 Dec 2019 -- China's People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) commissioned six warships in December, helping the fleet to remain technically larger than the US Navy while expanding its ability to project power and bringing it closer to being able to meet Washington toe-to-toe on the high seas.
- Deeply impressed by Chinese peacekeepers in Africa PLA Daily 31 Dec 2019 -- Over the past more than 10 years, I have participated in 3 UN peacekeeping missions, namely, the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). In the process, I experienced many difficulties and dangers in peacekeeping operations and witnessed many unforgettable moments of Chinese peacekeepers.
- China's peacekeeping helicopters complete missions in troubled area, Darfur PLA Daily 31 Dec 2019 -- China's third peacekeeping helicopter unit to Darfur, Sudan, successfully completed the VIP transportation task, as the governor of North Darfur State of Sudan landed safely at Al Lait, a major local refugee gathering area, on December 29, local time.
- State Dept Official Slams Russia, China for Joint Naval Drills With Iran, Urges Sanctions on Tehran Sputnik 31 Dec 2019 -- The United States in 2020 will increase sanctions on Iran, which is already in dismal economic shape, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said during a press briefing on Monday.
- Indian Army Better Prepared For Challenges at Pakistan, China Border - Chief of Defence Staff Sputnik 31 Dec 2019 -- The Indian government on Monday appointed Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a newly created post announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech this year. As CDS, the general will act as the principal military advisor to the Indian Defence Ministry.
- Taiwan's military raises alert status for upcoming elections CNA 31 Dec 2019 -- Taiwan's military is on "focused alert" for the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections, which puts the troops on guard against possible external threats and any internal contingencies, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Tuesday.
- Kim Jong Un Warns He May Scrap Moratorium on Nuclear, Long-range Missile Tests VOA 31 Dec 2019 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned he may no longer be bound by his self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear tests, threatening an unspecified, shocking action if the United States does not soften its stance in nuclear talks.
- Malaysia Receives First of 4 Large Patrol Ships Built in China Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2019 -- Malaysia received one of four large patrol ships it had ordered for the first time from China, the Royal Malaysian Navy said Tuesday, in what a security analyst hailed as a sign that Kuala Lumpur's multimillion-dollar naval modernization effort would push through.
- Yemeni forces, allies shoot down Saudi-led surveillance drone in Hajjah Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from the Popular Committees, have intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition as it was flying in the skies over the country's northwestern province of Hajjah.
- Violence Grows Against Women and Children in Economic Deprivation of Yemen's War VOA 31 Dec 2019 -- A recent study has revealed an increase in violence against women and children resulting from the conflict in Yemen. Research by the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies shows women and girls in Yemen have been affected by rape, kidnapping and domestic violence, while boys face sexual violence and are forced to work.
- Battle in Syria's Idlib aims to eliminate terrorism: President Assad Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the army's operations against terrorist groups in the northwestern province of Idlib are aimed at eliminating terrorism as a threat to security and safety of the Arab country's nation.
- UN envoy warns of 'escalation' in Libya conflict Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- The United Nations envoy to Libya says military deals between Turkey and the UN-backed Libyan government represent the escalation of conflict in the North African country.
- Turkey to implement deals with Libya in 2020: Erdogan Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara will materialize its two agreements with the Libyan government on defense and maritime rights next year, a few days ahead of a parliament vote on deploying troops to the North African country.
- Turkey mulling sending allied militants from Syria to Libya: Report Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- Turkey is reportedly considering sending militants from an allied, anti-government militia group in Syria to Libya as part of planned military support for the government in Tripoli.
- Turkish Defence Chief Denies Rift With Russia Over Libya Sputnik 31 Dec 2019 -- Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has denied there were frictions between Ankara and Moscow over Libya amid Turkey's recent moves to send troops to Tripoli's aid.
- Al-Qaeda claims Mogadishu bombing, death toll rises to 90 Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia has claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing in the capital, Mogadishu, over the weekend, and the death toll from the terrorist attack has risen to 90 people.
- Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility for Terrorist Attack in Somalia, Threatens Turks - Reports Sputnik 31 Dec 2019 -- Al-Shabab* terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack that struck Mogadishu on Saturday. Terrorists targeted a convoy carrying Turkish nationals, local media portal Garowe Online reported, citing Al-Shabab spokesman Ali Dhere.
- Arakan Army Seizes Ferry, Unveils Taxation Agency, in Myanmar's Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2019 -- The Arakan Army (AA) abducted 16 drivers traveling on a river ferry in western Myanmar's war-ravaged Rakhine state Tuesday, capping a yearlong uptick in hostilities with government forces, local officials said.
- Putin, Zelenskiy Exchange New Year Wishes, Discuss Another Prisoner Swap RFE/RL 31 Dec 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to discuss another prisoner swap as tensions ease between the two neighbors.
- Israel/Palestine war crimes probe ‘momentous step forward', says UN rights expert UN News 31 Dec 2019 -- An independent UN human rights expert hailed on Tuesday, the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to consider a formal criminal investigation into allegations of war crimes in Palestine as a "momentous step forward in the quest for accountability" in the five-decade-long Israeli occupation.
- S Novym Godom! The New Year's Messages Of Soviet And Russian Leaders Over The Decades RFE/RL 31 Dec 2019 -- It is traditionally the highest-rated broadcast of the year on Russian television: the president's annual New Year's greeting, shown in the last minutes before the clocks across Russia's 11 time zones strike midnight.
- Putin Welcomes New Year With A Message Of Unity For Russians RFE/RL 31 Dec 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has rung in the New Year by telling the nation that they are living in tough times, but that Russians will realize their goals if they stick together.
- New U.S. Ambassador To Russia Discusses State Of Relations With Counterpart RFE/RL 31 Dec 2019 -- Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan has met with his Russian counterpart, Anatoly Antonov, in Washington.
- Navalny 'Completely Pessimistic' About Western Curbs on Russian Corruption VOA 31 Dec 2019 -- After one suspected chemical poisoning, two arrests, 40 days in jail and multiple police raids on his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) offices nationwide, it's safe to say Russia's most prominent opposition figure has had a rough year.
- What Repatriation of French General Might Do for Franco-Russian Ties VOA 31 Dec 2019 -- French President Emmanuel Macron hopes the repatriation of the body of General Charles-Etienne Gudin, who was killed in Russia more than two centuries ago, could play a symbolic role in his diplomatic courting of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Russian Terror Suspects In Custody Following U.S. Tip Off RFE/RL 31 Dec 2019 -- Russian authorities said on December 30 that they had taken into custody two suspects in connection with a purported plot to carry out terrorist attacks in St. Petersburg on New Year's Eve that was foiled in part based on an intelligence tip from the United States.
- Chinese FM reminds overseas nationals to abide by local laws Global Times 31 Dec 2019 -- Confirming the arrest of a 27-year-old Chinese national in the US for allegedly breaking into a naval airbase in Key West, Florida, and taking pictures with his mobile phone, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the Chinese embassy in the US is closely following up on the case with the US government.
- Third-Day Session of 5th Plenary Meeting of 7th C.C., WPK Held KCNA 31 Dec 2019 -- The third-day session of the 5th Plenary Meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea was held on December 30.
- Iranian President Says U.S. Sanctions Have Cost Country $200 Billion RFE/RL 31 Dec 2019 -- Iran's president has said that U.S. sanctions have cost Iran $200 billion in lost foreign income and investment over the past two years.
- Hong Kong Protesters Count Down For Liberation, Revolution at New Year Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2019 -- Protests continued in several districts of Hong Kong on New Year's Eve, with thousands of people chanting "Free Hong Kong! Revolution in our time!" as the city counted down the last seconds of 2019.
- Xi extends best wishes to Hong Kong Global Times 31 Dec 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping extended best wishes to Hong Kong and Hong Kong compatriots in his New Year speech on Tuesday in Beijing.
- After chaotic 2019, Hong Kong SAR gov't calls for order, harmony in new year Global Times 31 Dec 2019 -- Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam and several principal officials of the HKSAR government on Tuesday made a New Year's Resolution for Hong Kong, that is, to restore order and harmony.
- Police brace for violence in Hong Kong ahead of New Year's Day Press TV 31 Dec 2019 -- Authorities in Hong Kong have deployed thousands of police officers across the semi-autonomous Chinese city as protests are planned for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day that could potentially disrupt festivities and shopping in the territory.
- Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers New Year speech People's Daily 31 Dec 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has delivered his annual New Year Address to all Chinese compatriots and people around the world, reviewing achievements in 2019 and extending New Year wishes for 2020.
- Chinese president delivers 2020 New Year speech, vowing to achieve first centenary goal PLA Daily 31 Dec 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday delivered a New Year speech in Beijing to ring in 2020, pledging to achieve the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects in the "milestone" year.
- Malaysia Appoints University Institute to Probe China's Alleged Abuses Against Uyghurs Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2019 -- Malaysia has appointed an international institute at a local university to prepare a study examining reports about alleged rights abuses committed by Beijing against Uyghur Muslims in China's Xinjiang region, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Monday.
- Anti-infiltration bill passes legislature amid protests CNA 31 Dec 2019 -- An anti-infiltration bill which criminalizes political activities backed by hostile foreign forces such as China, was pushed through the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-controlled legislature Tuesday, despite protests from the opposition that the bill could be used to suppress those who hold different political views to the government.
- Taiwan's 'anti-infiltration bill' signals DPP hostility to cross-Straits ties Global Times 31 Dec 2019 -- The island of Taiwan's "anti-infiltration bill," which was passed on Tuesday by Taiwan legislative authority, is a move of "green terror" by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and will hurt the interests of Taiwan people, the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said on Tuesday, adding that the bill is a bid to score political brownie points.
- Taiwan Passes Law Banning Political Infiltration by Foreign Powers Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2019 -- Taiwan on Tuesday passed an anti-infiltration law in a bid to counter Chinese interference in its democratic process ahead of a general election next month.
- Tsai Ing-wen far ahead in final opinion polls before Taiwan vote CNA 31 Dec 2019 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is a virtual shoo-in to be re-elected as Taiwan's president on Jan. 11, 2020 if the final polls released before a 10-day poll blackout period are to be believed.
- Business group, opposition blast DPP over anti-infiltration bill CNA 31 Dec 2019 -- A business group and opposition parties blasted the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government Tuesday for pushing through an anti-infiltration bill earlier in the day which they fear could be used by the government to suppress those who hold different political views and hinder cross-strait exchanges.
- Cambodia's Top Cop Lauds Crackdown on Opposition in New Year Message Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2019 -- Cambodia's National Police Commissioner Neth Savoeun on Tuesday marked the end of 2019 with a New Year's message lauding his subordinates for their work cracking down on members of the country's now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
- Sub-Saharan Africa faces grave hunger challenges in 2020: UN food relief agency UN News 31 Dec 2019 -- At the dawn of the next decade, a new World Food Programme (WFP) forecast of global hunger hotspots has revealed that escalating hunger will challenge sub-Saharan Africa in the first half of 2020.
- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Cabinet's Session SPA 31 Dec 2019 -- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet's session held at Al-Yamamah Palace here today.
- Russia Agrees To Short-Term Gas Deal With Belarus Amid Union Push RFE/RL 31 Dec 2019 -- Russia and Belarus have reached an agreement on gas prices for just the first two months of 2020 as the Kremlin pushes for the integration of the two countries.
- Russian Prime Minister: All Gas Issues With Ukraine Have Been Settled Sputnik 31 Dec 2019 -- Moscow and Kiev have signed documents ensuring the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine starting 1 January 2020, after a long dispute over Ukrainian lawsuits against Gazprom.
- Sudanese Praise Transitional Government for Death Sentences VOA 31 Dec 2019 -- Family members and friends of late Sudanese school teacher Ahmed al-Khair ululated and cheered Tuesday outside a courtroom in the city of Omdurman as 29 intelligence officers were sentenced to death for the torture and killing of al-Khair in the eastern Sudanese town of Khasum al-Girba.
- For Many Sudanese, Death Sentences for Protester Killing Raise Hopes for Justice VOA 31 Dec 2019 -- A Sudanese court decision sentencing 29 intelligence officers to death for the killing of a protester earlier this year is being welcomed by thousands who rallied against the rule of ousted President Omar al-Bashir.
- Communist Vietnam Signals Retreat From Centralized Economy VOA 31 Dec 2019 -- Authorities in Vietnam's business hub of Ho Chi Minh City said recently they will not be investing in the economy directly anymore, signaling the latest move in the communist nation's ongoing transition away from a centrally planned economy.
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