07 January 2020 Military News
- DOD Statement on Iranian Ballistic Missile Attacks in Iraq DoD 07 Jan 2020 -- At approximately 5:30 p.m. (EST) on January 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil.
- Iran Fires Missiles at 2 Iraqi Air Bases Housing US Forces, Pentagon Says VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- Iran has fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles into at least two Iraqi air bases that house U.S. troops, the Pentagon says.
- IRGC targets US airbases in Iraq in response to assassination of General Soleimani Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has targeted the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq after launching a wave of attacks to retaliate the US assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander, Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
- Trump, Other Officials Say US Prepared to Respond Should Iran Attack VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- President Donald Trump and top officials of his administration are saying they hope to avoid war with Iran, but the United States is fully poised to respond to any military provocations by Tehran.
- Trump: US Ready for Iran Retaliation, Wants to Obey Law When it Comes to Striking Cultural Sites Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- The tensions between Washington and Tehran have escalated after Iran's top military commander was killed in a targeted US drone attack at the Baghdadi International airport on 3 January. In response to Iranian threats of retaliation, Trump suggested striking 52 Iranian cultural sites if attacks against US assets were to take place.
- US Doesn't Want to Start a War With Iran But is 'Prepared to Finish One' - Pentagon Chief Esper Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- American and Iranian officials have exchanged a series of back and forth threats in recent days in the aftermath of the US assassination of a senior Iranian military commander in Baghdad late last week.
- Pompeo Defends Soleimani Killing, Accuses Iran Of Hurting Afghan Peace Effort RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has rejected suggestions that Iran's top military commander was on a "diplomatic" mission when he was killed by a U.S. air strike near Baghdad last week.
- US Officials: Iran's Soleimani Posed Distinct Security Threat VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- U.S. officials said Tuesday that Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general the U.S. killed in a drone strike, posed a distinct threat to Americans in the Middle East, but again publicly offered no specific evidence of any attack he was about to carry out.
- US bases on heightened security alert following Soleimani assassination Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- US military bases are placed on heightened security alert following the assassination of a top Iranian commander.
- US has no plan to leave Iraq: Pentagon chief Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says Washington has made no decision to pull its military forces out of Iraq, dismissing a signed letter from the US side announcing a troop withdrawal.
- US-led coalition temporarily relocates headquarters from Iraq to Kuwait: Report Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- The the US-led military coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh terrorist group has reportedly relocated its headquarters in Iraq to Kuwait in the wake of recent assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and the second-in-command of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and public rage over the targeted killings.
- Pompeo Denies Soleimani Came to Iraq on Diplomatic Mission Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied that the top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani could be on a diplomatic mission in Iraq where he was killed in an airstrike.
- Esper: Iran Has 'Big Off Ramp' to Avoid Further Conflict DoD News 07 Jan 2020 -- The United States does not want a war with Iran, and it's not leaving Iraq, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said.
- US Issues Warning About 'Iranian Threat' in Persian Gulf Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- Concerns emerged over the safety of Mideast waterways last year after a series of attacks on commercial vessels, coupled with a rise in tensions between the United States and its Arab allies, on one side, and Iran on the other.
- Puerto Rico National Guard helps respond to earthquake Army News 07 Jan 2020 -- The Puerto Rico National Guard was activated Tuesday to help respond to earthquakes that caused heavy damage, some injuries, and at least one fatality in the southwest area of the island.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Press Briefing by Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper DoD 07 Jan 2020-- Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper
- F-35A Lightning II standup complete at Hill AFB's 388th, 419th Fighter Wings US Air Force 07 Jan 2020 -- A little more than four years after receiving their first combat-coded F-35A Lightning II aircraft, Hill Air Force Base's fighter wings have achieved full warfighting capability.
- Navy Launches Sustainment Pilot Program for E-2D Advanced Hawkeye NNS 07 Jan 2020 -- Achieving and maintaining predictable and affordable readiness across the fleet requires a disciplined, performance-driven sustainment process. Department of Navy (DoN) leaders took a bold step in establishing an enduring and disciplined sustainment management process by approving and launching the first Sustainment Program Baseline (SPB) pilot for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye in fiscal 2020.
- Amid Simmering Iran Tensions, Pentagon to Deploy B-52 Squadron to Diego Garcia - Report Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- According to reports, the US Air Force is preparing to deploy a squadron of six B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers to Diego Garcia, an island base in the Indian Ocean within striking distance of Iran.
- Iraq PM confirms receiving 'signed' US pullout letter Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- Amid confusion over a reported US letter to Iraq announcing the steps its military would take to move out of Iraq, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi confirms that Baghdad has actually received "signed and translated" copies from the US Army concerning the withdrawal.
- Trump administration drafting post-pullout sanctions against Iraq: Report Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- The administration of US President Donald Trump has reportedly started drafting possible economic sanctions against Iraq should the country expel American troops.
- NATO Temporarily Suspends Training Mission in Iraq DoD News 07 Jan 2020 -- Although NATO is committed to the training mission in Iraq, the alliance has suspended training operations in the country, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels today.
- NATO to withdraw some troops from Iraq after Soleimani assassination Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- The US-led NATO military alliance has announced plans for a temporary withdrawal of some of its troops and personnel from Iraq following the United States' assassination of a top anti-terror Iranian military commander in the Arab country.
- NATO Withdraws Some Personnel From Iraq Due to Safety Concerns, Alliance Official Says Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- Earlier, the alliance announced that it would be scaling down its activities in the Middle Eastern country following the spike in tensions caused by the US assassination of a senior Iranian military commander.
- Latvia Stops Training Iraqi Security Forces - Defence Ministry Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- Latvian troops stopped training with Iraqi security forces in the wake of escalated regional tensions, Defence Ministry spokesman Kaspars Galkins said.
- Germany slashing troop numbers in Iraq Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- Germany says it is reducing its military presence in Iraq, in the latest fallout from the United States' assassination of Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
- China, Pakistan joint naval exercise first in a series Global Times 07 Jan 2020 -- The ongoing China-Pakistan joint naval exercise "Sea Guardians-2020" in the North Arabian Sea is expected to be the first of many to come, as the two countries have now developed a series of joint exercises covering the navy, army and air force.
- Nine cities sign agreement on civil air defense coordination PLA Daily 07 Jan 2020 -- On New Year's Eve, nine cities in South-East China's Pearl River Delta, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan and Huizhou, signed in Guangzhou the Framework Agreement of Pearl River Delta City Cluster on Coordinated Civil Air Defense Development.
- Military developing airborne laser attack pod, says report Global Times 07 Jan 2020 -- The Chinese military is procuring a laser attack pod, which Chinese media speculated could be an aircraft-based tactical weapon.
- Pakistan Air Force FT-7 jet crashes on training mission IRNA 07 Jan 2020 -- A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) FT-7 jet crashed on a training mission on Tuesday near city of Mianwali, an air base of the country, PAF said in a statement on Tuesday.
- Pakistan Jet Crashes, Two Trainee Pilots Killed RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- A Pakistani jet crashed during training on January 7 in the eastern Punjab Province, killing the two pilots, the military said.
- Pakistani Lawmakers Approve Extending Term Of Powerful Army Chief RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- Pakistan's lower house of parliament has approved legislation that would extend Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa's term by another three years.
- Pakistani Lawmakers Pass Bill to Extend Service of Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- The Imran Khan government on 3 January proposed a bill to extend the current army chief's service by three years.
- Pakistan's Lower House of Parliament Backs Extension for Army Chief VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- Lawmakers in Pakistan's lower house of Parliament voted Tuesday in support of extending the tenure of the country's army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, by another three years.
- S Korea Relocates Patriot Missile System From Country's Southeast to Seoul - Reports Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- South Korea has relocated a Patriot missile unit from a southeastern region in the country to central Seoul in order to protect key facilities from potential threats from Pyongyang, the Yonhap news outlet reported on Tuesday.
- Defence Secretary Oral Statement: Update on security situation in the Middle East UK MOD 07 Jan 2020 -- Defence Secretary Ben Wallace detailed the UK's response to events in Iraq
- Senior State Department Official On State Department 2019 Successes in the East Asian and Pacific Region US Dept. of State 07 Jan 2020 -- Special Briefing
- Secretary Pompeo's Call with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates US Dept. of State 07 Jan 2020
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Remarks to the Press US Dept. of State 07 Jan 2020
- Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Mitsotakis of the Hellenic Republic Before Bilateral Meeting The White House 07 Jan 2020
- 7 January 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 07 Jan 2020
- Indonesia Deploys Fighter Jets to Natunas Amid Tensions with China Radio Free Asia 07 Jan 2020 -- Indonesia sent four F-16 fighter jets to patrol its Natuna Islands, officials said Tuesday, as President Joko Widodo prepared to visit the area after asserting that Jakarta's sovereignty in waters off the chain in the South China Sea was "non-negotiable."
- Yemeni forces shoot down Saudi-led reconnaissance drone in Jawf Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- 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 while flying in the skies over Yemen's northern province of al-Jawf.
- Yemeni National Army Shoots Down Drone in Maran, Saada Governorate SPA 07 Jan 2020 -- The Yemeni National Army managed to shoot down a drone belonging to the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia in Maran, Saada Governorate.
- UN urges global powers to renew cross-border air delivery system into Syria Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- The United Nations (UN) has called on world powers to renew a system for a cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to people in Syria that is due to expire later this week, stressing that there is no alternative to the current method.
- Syria: Civilians face 'daily nightmare' in Idlib, says top UN official UN News 07 Jan 2020 -- Following a sharp escalation of hostilities in southern Idlib, "at least 300,000 civilians have fled their homes" since mid-December, the UN Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria crisis said on Tuesday, voicing concern for their well-being.
- Humanitarian Conditions Worsen for Millions in Syria's Idlib VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- The United Nations says conditions are deteriorating at an alarming rate for millions of civilians trapped in Syria's embattled northwest province of Idlib.
- Putin Visits Damascus For Talks With Syrian President Assad RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a surprise visit to Syria's capital, Damascus, where he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and held consultations with Russian military officials.
- Russian President Putin Makes Visit to Damascus Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- Putin's visit to Syria comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East following the US killing of Iran's top military commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad last week.
- 'Militia loyal to renegade general in Libya seize coastal city' Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- Militia members operating under the command of a renegade general in Libya have reportedly seized control of the coastal city of Sirte, as Turkey has started deploying troops to support the internationally-recognized government in the capital, Tripoli.
- Basic Amenities in Libya's Sirte Restored After LNA Gains Control of City - Envoy Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- Aref Ali Nayed, an envoy for the eastern Libyan government, said on Tuesday that the functioning of basic infrastructure services in the coastal town of Sirte, south of Tripoli, had been restored since the city was recaptured by the Libyan National Army (LNA) from rival forces.
- UN-Backed Libyan Government Retakes Control Over Sirte Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- Troops loyal to Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord have reclaimed the northern port city of Sirte after parts of it were briefly occupied by the army of General Khalifa Haftar, the lead Russian negotiator in the contact group on intra-Libyan settlement said on Monday.
- Blast Kills Four Rohingya Children, Injures Six Others in Myanmar's Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 07 Jan 2020 -- Four Rohingya children were killed and six other people injured in an explosion Tuesday in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state, villagers said, though it is unclear whether the blast was caused by a landmine or shelling by the government military or the rebel Arakan Army, which have been engaged in hostilities since late 2018.
- 4 People Killed in Suspected al-Shabab Attack in Kenya VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- At least three Kenyan students and a teacher were killed, and four more people injured when suspected al-Shabab terrorists attacked a primary school in Garissa county, near the border with Somalia. The Kenyan military says its forces killed two of the attackers as they tried to blow up a telecommunications tower.
- Suspected al-Shabab militants kill 4 in Kenya Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- Four civilians have been killed in an attempted attack suspected to have been carried out by al-Qaeda's Somalia-based affiliate in neighboring Kenya.
- Sudan: Intercommunal clashes displace tens of thousands in volatile Darfur region UN News 07 Jan 2020 -- Around 40,000 have been displaced in Sudan's West Darfur State in recent days, following intercommunal clashes, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday, citing Sudanese Government data.
- Cameroon says Nigerians Killed in Border Market Grenade Explosion VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- Cameroon says 10 Nigerians were killed Monday when a grenade exploded near a market on the two countries' border. Authorities denied local media reports of suicide bombings and said the explosion was caused when a Nigerian boy found a grenade and was playing with it when it detonated.
- UN chief monitoring Venezuela developments 'with concern' UN News 07 Jan 2020 -- The latest twist in Venezuela's ongoing political crisis "make urgently needed dialogue even more difficult to achieve", the UN Secretary-General has said.
- Venezuelan Opposition Leader Enters Legislative Building After Standoff with Troops VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido entered the country's legislative building Tuesday, two days after the ruling Socialist Party installed its own parliamentary leadership, the latest development in an effort to gain control of Venezuela's last democratic institution.
- Russia Launches Into New Export Territory With TurkStream Natural-Gas Pipeline RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- When Vladimir Putin visits Istanbul on January 8, the Russian president will be doing more than officially opening a new export pipeline -- he will be getting some more closure on his longstanding dream to end Moscow's dependence on archrival Ukraine in getting natural gas to Europe.
- Putin's Stagnant Year? Economic Headwinds Challenge Kremlin Ambitions In 2020 And Beyond RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- For 45 years, Ivan Shadryn has waited for the bridge over Siberia's mighty Lena River to be built.
- Putin to Visit Istanbul Amid Increasing Differences Over Syria, Libya VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting Istanbul Wednesday, where he will meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Bilateral relations have dramatically improved much to Ankara's western allies' concern, but escalating regional differences threaten to sour those bilateral ties.
- South Korea's Moon Urges North to Work On Arranging Kim's Visit to Seoul Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called on Pyongyang to do everything possible to implement the agreement on a return visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Seoul.
- Experts: North Korea Can Use Iran to Justify Nuclear Deterrent Strategy Radio Free Asia 07 Jan 2020 -- North Korea experts say that Pyongyang will likely try to use the tension between the U.S. and Iran to justify a strengthening of its nuclear deterrence, in the wake of the U.S. drone-strike-assassination of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani.
- Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Gives Field Guidance to Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Factory under Construction KCNA 07 Jan 2020 -- Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, gave field guidance to the Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Factory under construction.
- Iran fifth step of reducing commitments not mean exit from JCPOA IRNA 07 Jan 2020 -- Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Tuesday that Iran's fifth step of remedial reduced commitments to the July 2015 nuclear deal does not mean that the deal has ended or Iran wants to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
- Iran's fifth step in suspending nuclear commitments will not mean end to JCPOA: Araqchi Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- A senior Iranian official says the country's decision to take the fifth and final step in reducing its commitments under a landmark nuclear deal it clinched with major world powers in 2015 does not mean an end to the accord or Tehran's withdrawal from it.
- Iran FM vows proportionate response to US terror act after assassination of General Soleimani Press TV 07 Jan 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic will respond proportionately to the United States' assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
- Iranian Parliament Votes to Designate US Armed Forces and Pentagon as 'Terrorist Entities' Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- Iran last year designated the Central Command as a terrorist organisation and the American government as a sponsor of terror, mirroring the US blacklisting of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
- US to receive definitive resolute response to its brazen act in place, at time it hurts most: Zarif ISNA 07 Jan 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday delivered speech at the opening ceremony of "Tehran Dialogue Forum".
- UN Sec-Gen Guterres calls for "stopping escalation" IRNA 07 Jan 2020 -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement urged stopping escalation, exercising maximum restraint as well as re-starting dialogue.
- China calls on all sides to handle Iran issue with fairness People's Daily 07 Jan 2020 -- Tensions escalated in the Gulf region over the weekend as Iran distanced itself from the 2015 nuclear deal amid growing threats and pressure from the United States.
- U.S. Blames Russia, China For Blocking UN Statement On Baghdad Embassy Attack RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- The Russian and Chinese envoys at the UN say they oppose the New Year's Eve attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad but insist that a statement by the international body's Security Council condemning it should address the subsequent U.S. killing of Iran's top military commander.
- Macron Urges Rouhani to Avoid Any Steps That Could Deteriorate Situation in MidEast - Office Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- The two leaders have discussed the current situation in the Middle East as well as Iran's latest decision not to abide by its commitments under the nuclear deal.
- Key Takeaways From Qasem Soleimani's Colossal Funeral Procession RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- Hundreds of thousands of Iranians thronged onto the streets of Tehran, Qom, Ahvaz, Mashhad, and Kerman this week to take part in the state funeral of Iran's top military commander, Qasem Soleimani, killed in a U.S. drone strike on January 3.
- Stampede Kills Dozens Of Mourners At Iranian Commander's Burial RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- Fifty-six people have been killed and more than 200 injured in a stampede as Iranians attended the funeral procession of a top Iranian general slain in a U.S. air strike, state media report.
- Stampede at Soleimani Funeral Kills Dozens VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- A stampede at the funeral Tuesday for top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani killed at least 40 people and injured more than 200 others, Iranian state media reported.
- China Aims For Total Control of People's Thinking From Primary Level Upwards Radio Free Asia 07 Jan 2020 -- The ruling Chinese Communist Party on Tuesday published new guidelines banning overseas teaching materials in primary and secondary schools, as President Xi Jinping continued to tighten ideological controls in all areas of life.
- Hong Kong police refute rumor about officers disguising as rioters Global Times 07 Jan 2020 -- A senior officer of Hong Kong police on Monday refuted again accusations by a Hong Kong lawmaker that undercover officers disguised as rioters and committed violent acts on the New Year's Day.
- Trial Of Two Ethnic Kazakhs From China Postponed Amid Protests In Kazakhstan RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- A trial of two ethnic Kazakhs charged with illegally crossing into Kazakhstan from China's northwestern region of Xinjiang has been postponed amid protests in the eastern Kazakh town of Zaisan.
- No Hong Kong case contracts Wuhan pneumonia so far Global Times 07 Jan 2020 -- The Hong Kong government has stepped up precautions against an unidentified pneumonia found in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, which has hospitalized 59 people in the mainland city.
- No patients in HK affected by Wuhan-based pneumonia: Lam Global Times 07 Jan 2020 -- No patient being treated in Hong Kong hospitals has been found to contract viral pneumonia of unknown cause originating in Wuhan, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a press conference on Tuesday, slamming fear-mongering, fake information that has been posted on social media.
- Hong Kong Officials Suspect Pneumonia Outbreak in China Could Be SARS-Like Disease Sputnik 07 Jan 2020 -- Hong Kong medical experts believe that the viral pneumonia outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan may be a result of a new kind of coronavirus, similar to that which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a viral respiratory illness that killed hundreds in 2003.
- Myanmar Military Files Nearly 50 Lawsuits Against Critics in Last Four Years, Watchdog Group Says Radio Free Asia 07 Jan 2020 -- Myanmar's powerful military has filed nearly 50 lawsuits against critical journalists, individuals, and organizations it has accused of defamation during the civilian-led government's nearly four years in office, a freedom of expression advocacy group said Tuesday.
- Kosovar President's '48 Hour' Ultimatum Underscores Postelection Obstacles RFE/RL 07 Jan 2020 -- Kosovo's presumed next prime minister has pushed back against a presidential deadline to force his leftist party to end a three-month postelection stalemate within "48 hours" by nominating someone to head the next government.
- Angolan Billionaire Says Anti-Corruption Drive Jeopardizes Rule of Law VOA 07 Jan 2020 -- The daughter of Angola's former president said she was blindsided by a court decision to freeze her assets.
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